“Mainstreaming medical apps; reducing NHS costs; improving patient outcomes” – a brief summary

What follows is a brief summary of the presentations given at the Royal Society of Medicine’s third “Appday”, held on 9th April 2015. All three events have been sell-outs.

Anne Hayes, Head of Market Development at BSI, opened the event with an excellent presentation on the then shortly-to-be-finalised PAS 277 on mHealth apps (now available, free, here). She particularly welcomed the opportunity to present to clinicians, as too often her audience was primarily technologists. The presentation was especially impressive because Anne had only agreed to do the presentation the previous Friday, following realisation by both MHRA & NICE that proximity to the election meant neither could present. Anne explained that PAS 277, as a Publicly Available Specification, is not mandatory – it is essentially a checklist for developers and purchasers of medical apps to consider.

Julie Bretland, CEO of OurMobileHealth, then presented on the preliminary conclusions of the NIB Workstream 1.2 on how best to approve medical apps. (more…)

2015: a few predictions (UK-biased)

As intimated in our review of last year’s predictions, we feel little need to change course significantly, however some are now done & dusted, whereas others have a way to go. The latter include a concern about doctors, especially those in hospitals, continuing to use high-risk uncertified apps where the chance of injury or death of a patient is high if there is an error in them. Uncertified dosage calculators are considered particularly concerning.

Of necessity this is an area where clinicians are unwilling to be quoted, and meetings impose Chatham House rules. Suffice to say therefore that the point has now been well taken, and the MHRA are well aware of general concerns. Our first prediction therefore is that:

One or more Royal College/College will advise or instruct its members only to use CE-certified or otherwise risk-assessed medical apps.

The challenge here of course is that a restriction to CE-certified apps-only would be a disaster as many, if not most, apps used by clinicians do not meet the definition of a Medical Device and so could not justifiably be CE-certified. And apps are now a major source of efficiencies in hospitals – (more…)

Recent Developments in Digital Health – RSM conference summary

Editor Charles summarises the one day conference at the Royal Society of Medicine on 27th February

This was the first  conference in 2014 organised by the Royal Society of Medicine’s Telemedicine & eHealth Section.  The day began with one of Dr Kevin Doughty’s excellent presentations on telecare. Kevin is Deputy Director of CUHTec. One key message was that the oldest people in society – those most in need of support to remain in the community – were best communicated with using televisions.  In response to this requirement he particularly picked out the Speakset set-top box as a low cost, easy-to-use add-on to make any television into a videoconferencing unit.

This was followed by an excellent summary by Julie Bretland, Director, OurMobileHealth, on the maturity of the use of mobile apps, in particular the need for good curation. (This subject will be explored in much greater detail in the RSM’s 10th April apps event, where there are still just a few places left.)

Next came (more…)