Prescription and Integration of Accredited Mobile Apps in Catalan Health and Social Care: Protocol for the AppSalut Site Design

JMIR Res Protoc. 2018 Dec 21;7(12):e11414. doi: 10.2196/11414.


Background: The use of new mobile technologies in the health and social welfare sectors is already a reality. The ICT Social Health Foundation, in accordance with the technology strategy of the Catalan government's Ministry of Health and its Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Families, is leading an initiative to create a public library of apps for its AppSalut Site.

Objective: The objective of this paper is to present an account of the design of the project, with a global perspective, applied to the Catalan ecosystem, which can be divided into 3 areas: the framework governing the recommendation and prescription of apps, the subset of interoperability for mobile environments, and the data storage infrastructure.

Methods: The security and credibility of the apps included in the catalog is ensured by submitting them to an accreditation process in the public domain that provides users with the guarantee that they are fit for purpose and trustworthy for the management and care of their health, while providing health care professionals with the possibility of recommending the apps in the doctor's surgery, as well as adding the information generated by the users' mobile devices to the information systems of the various organizations concerned.

Results: An examination of the abovementioned areas suggests possibilities for improvements in the future. The experience obtained from the development of this element has shown the heterogeneity of the vocabularies used, as expected, due to the lack of awareness on the part of the developers regarding the need to standardize the information generated by the app, requiring the foundation to take on the role of consultant.

Conclusions: The project has evolved in keeping with changes in the technological and social paradigm and responds very satisfactorily to the needs posed to it. It can be seen as a landmark experience in mobile strategies in the fields of health and welfare of any public health system. The experience has shown itself to be feasible in organizational terms, necessary in any attempt to integrate mobile technologies into public health practice, and a global pioneer in the field.

International registered report identifier (irrid): RR1-10.2196/11414.

Keywords: information integration; mHealth; mobile phone; telemedicine; telemonitoring.