Health applications assessment guidance

The Ministry, with sector stakeholders, has developed Guidance on Evaluating or Developing a Health App.

A health app provides information, advice and feedback on health, fitness or wellbeing. It can be downloaded onto a smart phone or other mobile device.

There are many health apps on the market, and it can be difficult for clinicians or consumers to know which ones to recommend or use. Clinicians are often asked how effective different apps are. This guidance document focuses on two key areas:

  • Section 1: Guidance for clinicians and consumers – key points to consider for:
    • clinicians if consumers ask about the effectiveness of a health app or if you wish to recommend an app to them
    • consumers wondering how to select an appropriate app to improve your health or wellbeing.
  • Section 2: Guidance for app developers – key points to consider before deciding to develop a new health app.

A second piece of work, to provide an assessment framework for clinical apps, is underway.

Getting an app reviewed

You can undertake app reviews yourself using the tools or frameworks outlined in Guidance on Evaluating or Developing a Health App. However, if you have an app that has an English language option, is widely available with unrestricted access, and the description and images indicate potential usefulness, you could apply to the Health Navigator team who may conduct an internal review. Contact form is available on the Health Navigator website.

Further sector input

A further sector meeting to discuss guidance on evaluating or developing an app is planned. If you would like to be part of it, please contact eHealth@health.govt.nz.

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