The DigitalHealthEurope twinning AppSaludable helped to develop common requirements for mHealth app design, use and assessment in Andalusia and Portugal.
Over the course of nine months, the Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality (ACSA, belonging to the Andalusian Public Health System) and Serviços Partilhados do Ministério da Saúde (SPMS, belonging to the Ministry of Health in Portugal) have been exchanging knowledge as part of the DigitalHealthEurope twinning scheme, with the aim to identify common recommendations and requirements for the design, use and assessment of mobile health applications. The DigitalHealthEurope twinning scheme brings together owners of good practices (originators) with adopters, which are ready to learn and implement digital health solutions in their respective contexts.
ACSA’s extensive experience in the area as an originator of the AppSaludable model (“Safety and Quality Strategy in Mobile Health Apps”) developed in 2012, served as the basis for improving adopter SPMS’ own model MySNS Selecção, which at the beginning of the twinning was in its initial development stage. Through an Expert Panel comprised of representatives of both organisations, the Portuguese model was thoroughly analysed and compared with the Andalusian approach.
Several external collaborators were involved to enrich the experience, including experts from mHealth Belgium, the Belgium platform for mobile applications that are CE-Marked as a medical device. The Expert Panel participated in more than twelve meetings and was able to improve both the Andalusian and Portuguese models, develop recommendations and requirements for the design, use and assessment of digital health applications, and work towards a minimum set of 35 requirements for cross-recognition between AppSaludable and MySNS Selecção. The recommendations from the twinning will be included in MySNS Selecção’s 2020 updated version, ensuring better value for the citizens and health professionals that will use the health apps certified.
The originator and adopter, as well as the additional collaborators, are interested in continuing their collaboration around the use of mHealth apps. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic becoming evident in the middle of the twinning, the collaboration between the twinning partners has been smooth and is expected to be continued in the future.
More information about the AppSaludable twinning can be found here.