“There’s an app for that” is a common refrain today, especially in the health and wellbeing sector. But, while patients are increasingly turning to mobile health as the UK’s NHS is squeezed, knowing whether to trust these apps is a different story, especially in the absence of substantial regulatory processes.
The Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA), is a third party app evaluator who has been working to overcome this challenge by identifying and promoting the most clinically assured, safe and beneficial apps to patients and professionals, embedding apps into patient pathways.
To achieve this, ORCHA must put trust at the core of everything it does, and this is the base on which it has built its culture both internally and externally. Users have to trust and believe the company when it says that apps scoring above ORCHA’s quality threshold are safe, and be aware of the 85% that fall below that mark. As well as a health app evaluation and distribution service, ORCHA provides customisable app libraries to health and care organisations to help them promote reviewed apps to the specific populations they support. It also works with app developers to review, rate and market their products. This is valued, as fewer than 25% of health apps have achieved more than 5,000 downloads and only a handful have exceeded one million.
“Internal trust allows curious minds to grow and experiment”
Working with the Healthy London Partnership (HLP) ORCHA has developed an evidence base to support the improved delivery and uptake of digital health services, driving understanding and promoting the use of technology enabled care (TEC) services. With increasing pressure on health and social care budgets, TEC can offer great efficiencies and savings. In such an emotionally-driven field, culture is vital, and ORCHA brings to life its four core values – fun, curiosity, collaboration and trust. Through a range of activities, from team away-days to regular cake-and-culture sessions, honest feedback builds internal trust which allows curious minds to grow and experiment.