About this portal
In Knowsley we have an ambition for a healthier, happier population with a better quality of life, a reduction in health inequalities and improved access to healthcare when required, as close as possible to the patient.
NHS Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group is investing in improved digital health services to provide greater choice and improve access. We want to support our population to make healthier lifestyle choices to prevent ill health and enable our residents to live well for longer, by providing the information and tools to look after their own health and digital options have a big role to play. We conducted a digital health survey to find out about current use of digital services and how we can develop and improve these - and had a fantastic response. The results of the over 2,500 responses to date have helped shaped this website.
Apps present a fantastic opportunity to provide us with valuable health information which can help us not only improve the quality of our healthcare, but also help us to live healthier lives. The market is awash with apps, though, and we know from the results of the survey that our citizens have concerns such as: the protection of our personal data, how user-friendly health & wellbeing apps are and the evidence behind the success of digital health.
The survey also tells us that many of us are adapting to mobile technology and looking for convenient and pro-active approaches to staying well and managing our health during illness. To meet this demand, therefore, Knowsley health and care services have partnered with ORCHA (the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications) to provide this dedicated site.
ORCHA carry out independent and impartial reviews of health and care related apps, and you’ll see that the results are clearly presented for you throughout this website. You can be reassured that any apps shown on this site have undergone a rigorous review process, and can feel confident as you choose the best app that’s right for you.
By bringing this information to our fingertips, it’s now possible to identify and compare the best apps for our needs – and to ensure that you, and your friends and families can get access to quality assured apps that meet a standard that health care workers are comfortable with.
The Review Process
ORCHA is one of the leading providers of Health and Care App evaluations and reviews. It provides an objective and independent assessment of health and medical Apps. This is an advisory not regulatory service, but we do advise where regulatory issues may be important and should be considered further. It is however ultimately the responsibility of the developers and/or publishers of an App to ascertain its compliance with all relevant regulatory standards.
The ORCHA Baseline Review (“OBR”) is ORCHA’s first level of assessment and involves a detailed ‘desktop’ analysis of Digital Health solutions looking across all of the key areas of regulation and compliance. The OBR is largely undertaken proactively as part of ORCHA’s ongoing assessment and monitoring of the whole Digital Health market place and we review the most downloaded and most recently updated Apps and related Digital Health solutions across over 250 health and care categories and conditions.
The OBR is primarily an assessment of an Apps compliance with current standards, regulation and good practice (together “Standards”).
A standard is an agreed way of doing something. It could be about making a product, managing a process, delivering a service or supplying materials – standards can cover a huge range of activities undertaken by organizations and used by their customers.
”Standards are the distilled wisdom of people with expertise in their subject matter and who know the needs of the organizations they represent – people such as manufacturers, sellers, buyers, customers, trade associations, users or regulators.” (British Standards Institute)
They can be of regulatory significance or form non regulatory requirements or required best practice in a given jurisdiction or area.
The Standards we currently look at in the OBR are:
- Freedom of Information Act 2000 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/contents
- General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and associated local laws implementing this within the EU
- ISO/IEC 27001 - Information security management Data protection Act
- DD ISO TS 25237, Health informatics – Pseudonymization
- GSMA: Privacy Design Guidelines for Mobile Application Development.
- GSMA: Mobile & Privacy Guideline TCC2, TCC3, DRS4
- AQUA: Best Practice Guidelines for producing high quality mobile applications version 2.3 - June 2013
- BS EN ISO 14971, Medical devices – Application of risk management to medical devices
- The medical devices directive (CE mark for medical devices): council directive 93/42/EEC.
- MHRA guidance on CE marking for software and apps
- PAS 277:2015: Health and wellness apps – Quality criteria across the life cycle – Code of practice and the Medical Devices Directive
- The Consumer Protection Act 1987. London: The Stationery Office.
- APP QUALITY ALLIANCE: Accessibility Testing Criteria for Android Applications version 1.2: July 2015
- AQUA BEST PRACTICE GUIDANCE 2015
- Apple UX guidance. Available at https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/
- Google play developer UX standards. Available at: https://play.google.com/about/developer-content-policy/
- W3C guidance. Available at: https://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/usable
- eEurope2002: "Accessibility of Public Websites and their Content"
The OBR seeks to assess an App's performance through its compliance with these Standards. Our Review is regularly updated to reflect changes in these Standards. The higher the ORCHA Score achieved the more compliant the App is with these Standards and vice versa.
Whilst a high scoring App is not guaranteed to be effective or safe, or a poorly scoring App is not necessarily ineffective or unsafe, it does mean that the relevant Developer has taken more or less care over the App's compliance with these key Standards than other similar Apps. In the critical area of health and care, we believe that developers should take compliance with Standards extremely seriously.
Some Apps are technically medical devices and for class iia, iib and iii devices, require full assessment and Approval in the EU through processes overseen by the national regulatory bodies such as the MHRA in the UK and HPRA in Ireland and in other jurisdictions by similar regulatory bodies. An App of this nature should not be made available to the general public until it has been assessed and appropriately certified and any that we identify as being a non uncertified medical device is excluded from our general search.
If you become aware of any inaccuracy in the information presented in our Reviews or have any other concerns, please report this to us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ORCHA are not promoting or recommending any particular Apps through this process but are providing impartial information about an App's compliance with Standards and a mechanism for end users to easily identify those Apps that best meet those Standards and to check which ones don’t.