Deakin Health E-technologies Assessment Lab (D-HEAL): Benchmarking and evaluation of digital health technologies
The benchmarking and evaluation of digital health technologies project sought to develop a comprehensive digital health app evaluation framework for the rapid review and recommendation of apps by health organisations in Australia. The project synthesised and tested the key elements of existing theoretical frameworks and developed an Australian framework for rapid evaluation and rating of the best health apps in priority areas.
The number of health apps available on mobile devices continues to grow exponentially. However, there is very little authoritative guidance for consumers and health organisations to identify which of the health apps currently available in the market can be used safely and beneficially.
In this context, the aims of the project were:
- Identify the priority domains from the scientific literature for evaluating digital health apps relevant to the Australian context.
- Develop a framework based on the identified domains and domain items from the scientific literature.
- Undertake health expert feedback on the identified domains and domain items’ relevance, feasibility, and usability.
- Evaluate the framework’s usability when applied to apps covering general health issues and a range of common health issues or conditions frequently encountered in the general population.
- Update the framework based on evaluation, expert and consumer feedback.
The D-HEAL research team comprises Professor Anna Peeters, Director, Institute for Health Transformation; Associate Professor Martin Hensher; Associate Professor of Health Systems Financing and Organisation Paul Cooper; Dieu Nguyen Senior Research Fellow, Deakin Health Economics; Sithara Wanni Arachchige Dona – Associate Research Fellow Deakin, Health Economics; and Mary Rose Angeles, Research Assistant, Deakin Health Economics.
Under a partnership between Deakin University and Medibank Private Limited (one of Australia’s largest private health insurers), and with funding from the Medibank Better Health Foundation, this project was established to identify recommended health apps for mental health as a priority area for Medibank and enable consumer testing of the recommended health apps via the Medibank web portal to refine the framework.