Quality guidance and standards

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Criteria for health app assessment

Public Health England criteria and guidance on what you need to consider when developing and submitting a health app for assessment.  Covers:

  1. Evidence of effectiveness
  2. Regulatory approval
  3. Clinical safety
  4. Privacy and confidentiality
  5. Security
  6. Usability and accessibility
  7. Interoperability
  8. Technical stability

NHS guidelines on patient information

The NHS brand guidelines include guidance on providing good-quality patient-information to ensure that patients have greater power, protection and choice in key aspects of their healthcare.


Draft Guide to the Production and Provision of Information about Health and Healthcare Interventions

This guide, from NHS Scotland (2003), aims to give useful ideas and practical advice about how to assess, develop, revise and maintain information about health and healthcare interventions for patients, their families or members of the public. It pays particular attention to quality.


International Patient Decision Aid Standards (IPDAS)

The aim of these standards is to enhance the quality and effectiveness of patient decision aids, by establishing a shared evidence-informed framework with a set of criteria for improving content, development, implementation and evaluation.


British Standards Institution: information on independent living and care services

The British Standards Institution’s code of practice for organisations who provide information or advice to individuals about independent living and care services (PAS 278:2015) gives recommendations for good practice and helps providers ensure that the information and advice they provide is accessible, easily understood, accurate, relevant and of a consistent quality.

It aims to enable people to make informed choices about long-term care and support needs and maximize opportunities for independent living.


British Standards Institution: health and wellness apps

The British Standards Institution has defined a set of quality criteria for the development, testing, releasing and updating of health and wellness apps (PAS 277:2015). The quality criteria also address fitness for purpose, risk management and monitoring of usage. They are relevant to clinical, native, hybrid and web-based apps.

The quality criteria are intended for use by app developers and publishers, but may also benefit healthcare professionals and general users of mobile apps.


Digital Health And Care Alliance (DHACA) guidance

DHACA has developed three sets of inter-related guidance (Medical apps – processes. Guide – D019’), which seek to help commissioners, developers and users of medical apps to:

  • recognise decision-making processes at each stage of app development, from gaining interest from health commissioners and publishers, through the development process, to end-users’ decisions to download and use
  • identify key actions that help developers scope their business case and ensure more sustainable benefits for patients and carers, clinicians, commissioners
  • identify and manage risk, from regulatory requirements to technical risks and sustainability.

Some other useful guides


Return to the main ‘Judging and assuring the quality of health information‘ page.