The American Medical Association is teaming with the Dallas-based American Heart Association as well as New York’s DHX Group and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society to dig into the rising subset of on-demand healthcare apps.
Mobile Health has been a target of Dallas-Fort Worth entrepreneurs for some time. Dallas’ Mend and PediaQ have inked major partnerships with health systems—the former was acquired by Children’s Health, the latter is providing its pediatric software to Baylor Scott & White and Houston’s Memorial Hermann—that will allow them to use the software to help provide care beyond the walls of their facilities. New York City startup Pager has also announced plans to partner with Baylor S&W.
With all the interest in Uber-styled on-demand apps, the four organizations announced Monday the creation of Xcertia, which is “dedicated to improving the quality, safety, and effectiveness of mobile health applications.” It is a nonprofit that will include representation from consumers, developers, payers, clinicians, and academics to develop best practices for the new technology.
Jon O’Sullivan, the CEO of PediaQ, called the initiative a valuable one, particularly as mobile healthcare apps rise in popularity and begin to figure into strategic plans.
“The number of consumer apps developed for digital health is growing rapidly. Within the house call segment, where our Q.care platform is focused, there are no less than 8 to 10 apps offering different models, features, and versatility,” he said. “We strongly believe that having a non-profit and non-biased entity like Xcertia that can facilitate establishing best practices, measure consumer response, and identify best in class features is exceptionally valuable, and we would welcome the opportunity to understand the organizations near and medium term objectives, as well to work closely with them as a part of this community. “
Xcertia calls its effort a “critical need,” one that will “positively impact the trajectory of the mobile health app industry.” It won’t certify the apps, but will use feedback from its membership to advance the clinical quality of the arrangements.
“Physicians recognize the tremendous potential in digital health tools and are looking to the AMA to help make sense of mobile health technologies,” said AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, M.D. “Our role in helping to form Xcertia underscores the AMA’s ongoing commitment to innovation and collaboration that helps empower patients to assess mobile health apps, and enable physicians to take a lead role in advancing the state of digital health technology.”