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1 
iSYS is a Foundation to develop social 
health projects in Internet 
Exploring the Quality of Health Apps: The ISYS 
Ra...
2 
Why the need for a scoring system in health apps?
Introduction 
What are the problems… 
•The number of mobile Apps on offer is huge, and is growing 
exponentially 
•Users g...
4 
Objectives 
The main objective of the iSYS Ranking is to empirically evaluate the 
quality of health-related apps for p...
5 
Objectives 
Limitations: 
•This method is not a quality or a safety seal. It is only a guide 
•Apps to evaluate would b...
6 
Methodology 
Inspired by: Moher D, Schulz KF, Simera I, Altman DG (2010) 
Guidance for Developers of Health Research Re...
7 
Methodology 
Literature Review 
A broad search string was used to query articles published on the PubMed 
database in E...
8 
Methodology 
4. Identify Participants & Conduct a Delphi Exercise. 
Research Team (n=5) Technical team (n=4) Expert pan...
9 
Methodology 
On completion of the Delphi method, we carried out an assessment of 
five mobile apps. For this evaluation...
10 
Results 
SOURCE 
• 11 criteria from Delphi method 
• 5 criteria from the new Literature review 
A. Popular Interest: 
...
11 
Results 
B. Trust / Quality 4. seal from a Health Agency maximum points 
(18 points) or 
5. Validate by a specialized ...
12 
Results 
C. Utility 10. Wide research group RCT scores maximum (18 points) or 
11. Research: No-RCT Small Group [<30 u...
13 
Results: example
14 
Results: example
15 
Conclusions 
1. The iSYS method was successful in scoring Health Apps 
2. It compliments but does not substitute quali...
16 
Discussion 
• We have not found any other objective valuation 
methodology to compare Apps. 
• We believe this scoring...
17 
Next steps 
• Develop a Web Site. 
• Find sponsorship 
• Seek and deal with social Feedback and 
Criticism (crowd sour...
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Score iSYS Health Apps

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Exploring the Quality of Health Apps: The ISYS Ranking System

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Score iSYS Health Apps

  1. 1. 1 iSYS is a Foundation to develop social health projects in Internet Exploring the Quality of Health Apps: The ISYS Ranking System Medicine 2.0 Malaga, October 2014 Immaculada Grau*, Fundación iSYS, Spain, Group for Research in Primary Care– IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain José Antonio Gallego Fundación iSYS, Spain, Francisco J Grajales III, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada Luis Fernandez-Luque*, Northern Research Institute, Tromso, Norway Belchin Kostov, Group for Research in Primary Care–IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain
  2. 2. 2 Why the need for a scoring system in health apps?
  3. 3. Introduction What are the problems… •The number of mobile Apps on offer is huge, and is growing exponentially •Users generally don’t know what they will find until they download an app and are faced with an overwhelming number of options. •The trustworthiness of internet-based health information aimed at non-professional users is an important and widely debated topic. What do we need… •Users need security •Scientific guarantee •Empowerment through relevant information
  4. 4. 4 Objectives The main objective of the iSYS Ranking is to empirically evaluate the quality of health-related apps for patients within three domains: • (A) Popular interest • (B) Quality (trust) • (C) Utility With this we aim to 1. Promote awareness of different criteria that will be helpful before downloading a health app. 2. Develop a public ranking of scoring to help developers improve the quality of their applications and promote excellence.
  5. 5. 5 Objectives Limitations: •This method is not a quality or a safety seal. It is only a guide •Apps to evaluate would be for the general public –not for healthcare professionals-. •The Apps evaluated are NOT part of a care process (diagnosis and monitoring of clinical parameters ARE part of a care process), unless they were certified by a competent official body, like the FDA. •The score is based mainly on the App description provided by the developer, and the first results of Google search.
  6. 6. 6 Methodology Inspired by: Moher D, Schulz KF, Simera I, Altman DG (2010) Guidance for Developers of Health Research Reporting Guidelines. PLoS Med 7(2): e1000217. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000217 1. Needs Assessment 2. Literature Review 3. Obtain Funding for the Rating (Guideline) Initiative 4. Expert Sampling & Delphi Method 5. Present and Discuss Results & prepare face-to-face meeting 6. Develop the Rating System Draft 7. Pilot Testing & Repeat steps 5 & 6 8. Develop an Explanatory Document 9. Publication and Knowledge Translation Strategy
  7. 7. 7 Methodology Literature Review A broad search string was used to query articles published on the PubMed database in English and Spanish from 1993 to 2014, without geographic filters. Results: •EVALUATION of health applications for Smartphone (23 results) •ANALYSIS of health applications for Smartphone (18 results) •QUALITY of health applications for Smartphone (17 results) A total of 18 articles met our inclusion criteria and their relevant data was extracted using a standardized template Outstanding Bender JL, Yue RYK, To MJ, Deacken L, Jadad AR. A Lot of Action, But Not in the Right Direction: Systematic Review and Content Analysis of Smartphone Applications for the Prevention, Detection and Management of Cancer J Med Internet Res 2013;15(12):e287
  8. 8. 8 Methodology 4. Identify Participants & Conduct a Delphi Exercise. Research Team (n=5) Technical team (n=4) Expert panel (n=16) • Bibliographic review • Initial recommendations • Selection of external Panel of experts • Prepare 1st Questionnaire (Q1) • Send out Q1 • Analysis and evaluation by the panel • Prepare and send out 2nd Questionnaire (Q2) • Analysis, statistics and evaluation by the panel • Results report • Specific evaluation for each recommendation • Extra comments • Analysis of results • Possible modification and forwarding 1st delphi round 2nd delphi round • Proof of Concept • 5 Apps • 4 Patients • 3 MD • 3 Nurses • 2 Heath experts • 1 COM expert • 3 Tech experts
  9. 9. 9 Methodology On completion of the Delphi method, we carried out an assessment of five mobile apps. For this evaluation, items and mean scores obtained from Delphi were used. Problem (C) Utility scoring criteria did not work in any case, the research team decided to take on new criteria, based the literature on review. These new criteria were initially given the lowest score (3 points on a scale of 1-5, where 5 was the maximum) obtained during the Delphi process, pending a new iteration from the panel of experts. Solution Both experts scored the five applications in turn and the score worked. Limitation: These new criteria have not been evaluated by the expert panel, so the method will be released this year in a beta version.
  10. 10. 10 Results SOURCE • 11 criteria from Delphi method • 5 criteria from the new Literature review A. Popular Interest: 1. Positive Rating given by users who downloaded the App (4 points). 2. Available on 2 or more platforms (3 points) 3. Interest Statement by Patient/Affected Association (4 points).
  11. 11. 11 Results B. Trust / Quality 4. seal from a Health Agency maximum points (18 points) or 5. Validate by a specialized professional / Public Health Body / Scientific Society (4 points) 6. Promoted by Affected Association (3 points) 7. The App has a website (responsibility) / Data protection endorsement (4 points) 8. Cites sources of scientific evidence (4 Points) 9. Names the organization responsible (3 points)
  12. 12. 12 Results C. Utility 10. Wide research group RCT scores maximum (18 points) or 11. Research: No-RCT Small Group [<30 users] (3 points) 12. Declaration of professional scientific society or association / Partnership Declaration AFFECTED (3 points) 13. Provides information (3 points) 14. Provides info to useful Health Provider / trackers (3 points) 15. Links to other affected / users (3 points) 16. Uses games to promote health data (3 points)
  13. 13. 13 Results: example
  14. 14. 14 Results: example
  15. 15. 15 Conclusions 1. The iSYS method was successful in scoring Health Apps 2. It compliments but does not substitute quality and safety seals. 3. It’s provides a neutral reference for a patient before they download an App.
  16. 16. 16 Discussion • We have not found any other objective valuation methodology to compare Apps. • We believe this scoring method can make an active contribution to: • Empowerment of patients • Raise awareness of the importance of quality apps • Encourage excellence in the development of Apps • Contribute to measurement and development of standards and guidelines
  17. 17. 17 Next steps • Develop a Web Site. • Find sponsorship • Seek and deal with social Feedback and Criticism (crowd sourcing) to improve upon. • Update the Method. Periodic release of new improved versions (Annual?) • Encourage Endorsement. An annual event to reward best rated apps, developers and promoters • Translate and publish the method.

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