Hub Talk #5 – Successful collaboration between a private assessment framework and national initiatives

The summer session of the last Hub Talk which took place on the 13rd of July has delivered important take-home messages and powerful examples of how a public-private partnership can deliver very concrete results building on each other strengths.

Hani Eskandar, Senior Coordinator of Digital Services at ITU, made an introduction of the event, presenting the different Hub products and outlining the work being carried out within the project in two countries, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Started as a personal initiative, ORCHA (based in the UK) has become a major private global organisation with a wide panel of services with at its core the systematic review of health apps and the systematic distribution of health apps. ORCHA has been supporting several European and non-European States in both selecting solutions adapted to specific use cases and supporting the development of public assessment frameworks. Tim Andrews, COO of ORCHA, has explained how ORCHA has been constantly adapting itself to cover new needs and include criteria which are essential from the perspective of policy makers.

Device Frame


Anders Tunold-Hanssen, CEO of the Nordic Interoperability Project, explained that the 5 Nordic States want to become the most sustainable and integrated health region in the world by 2030, providing the best possible personalized health care for all its citizens, supporting also a radical change of the health paradigm with preventative care, and the patient and data at the centre. Together with ORCHA, starting from international standards and frameworks, they have been building the Nordic Accreditation platform which will feed multiple public and professional endpoints. “Unlocking the power of digital health is not about a standard. It’s about a system”, said Anders.

Rimmert Brandsma, Project Leader at Mind Platform in the Netherlands, told us about how ORCHA has been supporting MIND in selecting mental health apps. Those apps are known as having two “low”: low retention rate and low information quality and one “high”: high volatile market. Sustainable use and viable business are closely associated. Idenfifying the solutions which make a real difference is thus absolutely key. While ORCHA has been providing MIND with a first selection of quality proved solutions against a set of critical criteria, MIND has then fine-tuned the selection by conducting a number of complementary assesments, often with the direct support of the users leading to a Mind rating of the apps.

Tim then explained how the cooperation with Israel has been a real stress-test for ORCHA given the focus on innovation and the wide range of criteria to be considered and also considering the very specificity of the Israeli market where very few apps are available in Hebrew.

The three examples demonstrate that the division of tasks between ORCHA and the national initiatives can lead to both  powerful and efficient results. Futhermore it shows that the work performed has also direct consequences in possible scaling-up opportunities for the apps industry.


Device Frame

As a conclusion, Tim claimed that totruly support the digital patient, we must do three things: 1) Ensure trust in digital health, 2) Overcome awareness and access barriers to deliver activated Health Care Professionals and patients and 3) Have strong governance and risk management”.

Hani Eskandar concluded that the great examples described in this Talk needed to be known and consumed by more countries in Europe and elsewhere and this is aligned with the core mission of the European mHealth Hub.

You may watch (or re-watch) this Hub Talk here.



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