Improving the Quality, Safety and Effectiveness of Mobile Health Applications

Hopefully not lost among all the headlines on the future of U.S. healthcare, an important collaboration was announced at the end of 2016, the launching of a new group that is committed to improving mobile healthcare applications.

The multi-stakeholder collaboration, Xcertia, is dedicated to making a positive impact on the use of mobile applications in the industry, especially for consumers. The American Heart Association (AHA), the American Medical Association (AMA), DHX Group, and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) are early supporters of the initiative and are seeking additional health and technology partners.

Xcertia will develop guidelines and best practices focusing on content quality, patient experience, information sharing, privacy and security, and a host of other components relevant to the explosion of digital technologies in the healthcare industry.

Overall, their mission is to enhance the “quality, safety, and effectiveness of mobile health applications” and they intend to “leverage the insights of clinicians, patients and industry experts to help improve patient care and increase access to data,” according to their website.

This is an important step for the continued maturity of mobile healthcare applications. There’s no doubt that apps could help advance the overall health and well-being of patients. But the lack of industry guidelines and the desire of some organizations to keep patient data locked behind their walls has led to very little patient-centered mobile computing solutions that truly integrate among organizations and levels of care.

Hopefully, Xcertia will be able to gain access to healthcare expertise across a wide range of businesses and organizations so we can move the industry to a more inclusive patient-based solution that better integrates information from what is now numerous disparate sources. It’s no longer acceptable for patients to have separate web-based portals or mobile applications for each health system, payer, lab, or pharmacy they obtain health services from. These data silos need to go — a relic of the past and a highly inefficient one.

Their membership and governing board is open to a “broad representation” of companies and individuals in the health and tech industries from consumers and developers to payers, clinicians, and academics with an interest in creating guidelines for mobile health applications (mHealth apps).

To join, visit their website or contact

How will you (and your organization) use digital technologies to think outside the box and transform the way you do business? Answering those questions, and identifying some simple yet important steps are the basis for my e-book: Preparing for Digital Healthcare, now available for download on the HighPoint Solutions website.