A New York-based store focused on mobile health apps for healthcare professionals and patients is developing a certification program.
Happtique‘s program would evaluate and certify healthcare apps. The program would articulate quality and performance standards for an app’s clinical relevance and technical functionality, developed by members of a blue ribbon panel in the next six months.
The voluntary program will be open to all app developers and will be funded by developer application fees.
“With more than 20,000 healthcare apps in the marketplace — and more coming out every day — healthcare organizations and professionals are expressing the need for a bona fide mhealth app certification program,” Happtique President Corey Ackerman said in a press statement.
The panel will be chaired by Dr. Howard J. Luks, an orthopedic surgeon and associate professor of orthopedic surgery at New York Medical College and chief of sports medicine and arthroscopy at University Orthopedics and Westchester Medical Center. He also serves on the advisory board at the Mayo Clinic’s Social Media Network.
Other members include Shuvo Roy, director of the Biomedical Microdevices Laboratory and associate professor in the bioengineering and therapeutic sciences department at the School of Pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco. He previously served at the Cleveland Clinic as codirector of the BioMEMS Laboratory and on the faculty of the Spine Research Laboratory.Dave deBronkart is a patient engagement activist who is a blogger and cancer patient, and is also on the advisory board of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. Franklin Shaffer is the CEO of CGFNS International, the certification organization for graduates of foreign nursing schools.
Happtique is a subsidiary of the Greater New York Hospital Association‘s business arm, GNYHA Ventures. Through its business, hospitals, physician practices and continuing-care facilities can create individually branded, secure apps for employees and patients to use on their smartphones. Among the 11 healthcare facilities Beta testing Happtique’s custom app store are Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Beth Israel Medical Center. They developed or are developing their own mobile applications.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been developing some type of mobile app certification itself, two years after approving its first mobile health app, Airstrip Technologies’ AirStrip RPM.