Leaders at Partners HealthCare, Mayo Clinic join AMA’s mHealth collaboration

Woman showing a patient in bed a tablet computer
AMA has several big names to its mHealth initiative, including leaders from Mayo Clinic and Partners HealthCare. (Image: Getty/monkeybusinessimages)

Digital health leaders at Partners HealthCare and the Mayo Clinic are among the four new members adding their expertise to Xcertia, the American Medical Association’s recently launched collaboration to improve mobile health apps.

Steve Ommen,  M.D., associate dean and medical director of connected care at Mayo Clinic and Joseph Kvedar, M.D., vice president of connected care at PartnersHealthcare, were appointed to Xcertia’s board of directors, AMA announced on Wednesday.

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Xcertia also added Morgan Reed, president of the ACT | The App Association, and Kaveh Safavi, M.D., senior managing director of the health industry at Accenture.

The AMA-led initiative launched in December with support from HIMSS, the American Heart Association and the digital health nonprofit DHX Group after AMA CEO James Madara called on physicians to take on a larger role in mHealth app development. The initiative was formed months after Madara criticized some tools as “digital snake oil.”

The new board members touched on Xcertia’s mission to make mHealth apps more reliable and effective. In November, the AMA adopted principles for use of mHealth apps.

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“Making mobile health apps a trustworthy resource for consumers, and giving clinicians confidence in these digital tools are critical steps in advancing the adoption of safe and effective digital technology,” Dr. Kvedar said in the announcement.

Ommen added that patient needs are a critical focus for Mayo Clinic when it develops apps.  

“Apps need to increase clarity and not add complexity for the patients or the care teams,” he said. “A major goal is to help providers and care teams connect to patients, extending and enhancing our relationships with patients.”

Despite the proliferation of new mHealth apps, some have questioned their efficacy and trustworthiness. A report released earlier this week by the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy outlined five recommendations to advance mHealth development, including more collaboration between industry partners.