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Vertical App Stores – Unleashing the Digital Health Ecosystem

made_in_canada1

In the ISACC report (31 page PDF) that analyzed Canada’s contributions to global research on open standards they conclude that this is a declining field for Canada.

Like the tech sector itself Canada’s role in global leadership of technology innovations has diminished.

Our goal is to reverse that trend, through key activities such as identifying ‘Hot Segments‘ for new Cloud products and services, where open standards innovation would be relevant.

An example of the type of innovation that standards research might produce can be suggested through the idea of a ‘Vertical App Store‘ – An online store like iTunes or Google Play, but where the apps are pre-selected only for a particular industry niche or user group community, with more stringent certification procedures for which apps are allowed on.

With the rapid rise of the smartphone as a DIY eHealth device we’re quickly entering a world where doctors will ‘prescribe apps’ as part of the treatment, but how would they know which ones, and how could they trust they will use patient data accordingly?

Enter the Vertical App Store…

ipad-doctor2Digital Health Ecosystem

The concept is first defined in the recent white paper from Canada Health Infoway, entitled Mobile Computing in Clinical Settings. (56 page PDF)

On page 47 it explains the key points that xx such an environment, namely:

“Organizations must ensure mobile device apps are trustworthy. Consideration must be given to how apps are evaluated and/or certified.

The creation of a third party privacy and security and interoperability certification process for vendor and institutional developed mobile apps would remove a due diligence burden from health care delivery organizations which may not have the expertise or resources to evaluate vendor products.

It would also have the benefit of increasing the level of assurance and trust organizations place in protecting PHI accessed or stored in mobile devices.

In the absence of a formal independent certification process, HDOs should require vendor developed mobile apps to demonstrate privacy protective and security features. Organizations should consider using a due diligence process to ensure apps meet established requirements. Particular attention should be paid to the permissions used by acquired or in-house developed mobile apps.”

In short this defines a need for what I introduced the other day as a ‘Cloud Certification Profile‘, a scenario underpinned by the role an audit and certification process would play for enabling this type of framework.

Although they sound terribly dry and boring terms these are actually liberating designs, as once there is a minimum level of trust established then the use by doctors and patients will flourish.

Although I wrote it a few years ago, this trend can be further explored through the idea of these platforms enabling an App Store Innovation Nation.

These and other developments will lead to the evolution of ‘Digital Health Ecosystems’.

Read more here in this MaRS Guide.

The post Vertical App Stores – Unleashing the Digital Health Ecosystem appeared first on Cloud Computing Best Practices.

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