20 Oct D2.1 Knowledge Tool 1. Health apps assessment frameworks
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This report about health apps assessment frameworks (Knowledge Tool 1 produced by the European mHealth Hub) has several objectives: to offer an overview of health apps assessment frameworks and repositories in Europe; to assist European countries and regions in developing, improving or adopting an assessment framework for health apps at large-scale level; to provide grounds for common assessment components to be used or adopted in a cross-border perspective; to outline some key features on how the mHealth market works, as well as some examples of patient organisations and quality health apps.
As antecedents, this tool builds on the work previously conducted by the EC Working Group on mHealth assessment guidelines during 2016 and 2017 and the “Report on the mHealth Assessment Frameworks”, developed in 2018 by the Hub team and other experts.
The EU eHealth Network is considered as the major target audience for this tool, serving as disseminator Europe-wide. Nevertheless, other policy makers, public authorities, regulators, healthcare providers, developers, healthcare professionals and patients/consumers representatives might also find this tool helpful.
The methodology has comprised several steps: an in-depth desk research to identify relevant assessment frameworks (24 AFs) and to define their key evaluation domains and criteria, collection and analysis of AF data, based on the desk research but also on the input from the AF’s owner. This approach was complemented with the analysis of health apps repositories, a brief study on the role of patient organisations in Europe in this topic, and the inclusion of some additional insights about mHealth market.
This report begins with an Executive Summary, and in the Results chapter it shows quality domains and criteria coverage within the frameworks, as well as qualitative insights about them, and an overview of existing repositories. These outcomes are complemented with reflections about some outstanding examples of assessment and reimbursement, considerations on the mHealth market and the patient organisations insights.
The Conclusions and Recommendations follow a structure similar to the Results section, enriched with a targeted-audience approach when it comes to evaluation domains and criteria.
Finally, the report includes several visualizations about the coverage of the domains in the set of frameworks analysed.
With respect to the initial work developed in 2020, during 2021 the research has been completed with the following elements:
- the development of Hub orientations when setting up and developing an AF.
- a compilation of 27 aspects in which AF(s) could be enriched
- a selection of innovative insights that constitutes learnings from the existing AFs
- a proposal for mutual recognition based on levels of criteria coverage within the analysed AFs.