Health applications assessment guidance

The Ministry is working with sector stakeholders to develop guidance for adopting beneficial mHealth and health apps. The guidance is intended to be an evolving document.

A health app is a piece of software designed to provide information, advice and feedback on health, fitness or wellbeing that can be downloaded onto smart phones or other mobile devices. 

Health apps are an important technical advance with the potential to support patient self-care, to promote the maintenance and improvement of health through monitoring of personal wellbeing, and by encouraging positive behaviour change. In the area of long term conditions (diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and chronic lung disease), mobile apps have been identified as an effective tool in self-management and enhanced symptom control.

Goals of this work:

  • supporting the prioritisation and normalisation of health apps
  • linking with work already underway to develop a library of quality assessed clinical and consumer apps
  • avoiding centralised app credentialing
  • providing a platform to showcase and examine local work in the pipeline or already underway in the health app sector.

Guidance priority areas:

  • promoting the development and adoption of health apps and mHealth in the health sector
  • standards and interoperability (*not all apps will need to access other systems)
  • privacy and security
  • oversight and enforcement of data ownership.

Who is involved?

Several teams within the Ministry of Health are sponsoring the work to draft guidance. Lead organisations and stakeholders from the health and disability system also provide advice.

Steps Timeframe
Initial scoping meeting. October 2016
Closed invitation stakeholder workshop (further scoping). December 2016
Develop strawman draft:
  • list existing standards that may be applicable - provide a suite of standards Link with existing guidance and strategies.
December 2016 – January 2017 timeline dependent on peer review process
Risks analysis and sector review. January 2017
Sector engagement and discussion:
  • existing signposting work
  • roadshows
  • information pathways and hackathons
  • links with existing outcomes frameworks.
January 2017-ongoing

How to engage in the process

Feedback on drafts will be open to anyone. To find out more or to provide feedback please register your interest with


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