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Who is ORCHA?

At the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA) we have been assessing health and care apps, and digital health products, since 2015. An assessment involves asking questions about a health or care app, or a digital health product, to see if it meets standards in these five main domains:

  • Data and privacy - How safe your private information is, and what happens to it
  • Professional assurance and clinical safety - If a health or care professional thinks it’s safe and can support your health, and if there is evidence to support that
  • Usability and accessibility - How easy it is to use for the age and ability of a person
  • Interoperability - How well it can connect with an existing system
  • Technical security and stability - How well it works and if it can be hacked

We also create systems to share the information we find out about health or care apps and digital health products. These include digital health libraries (App Libraries), formularies and toolkits. This helps give health or care professionals and organisations the confidence to recommend them to you. As experts in digital health standards, we work with governments to create their own digital health product standards for countries around the world. For example, ORCHA helped develop the Digital Health Assessment Framework (DHAF) in the US, in collaboration with the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Telemedicine Association (ATA). Through our assessment process, we also help digital health suppliers, such as app developers, create or improve their health or care apps and digital health products. At ORCHA we want to make digital health safe, sustainable and easy to access for everyone that may benefit from using it.

What is an App Library?

An App Library is a place where you can find health or care apps and digital health products that can support you with your health and wellbeing. You can read detailed information about each app or digital health product, based on tests (assessments) carried out by ORCHA. Your healthcare provider or organisation can see everything in the App Library if they have a Pro Account and suggest or recommend an app for you. Or you can browse the App Library and select one or more apps for yourself. An App Library makes it easier to make sure you are downloading, or viewing the website of, the right app you want to use. We make every effort to make sure the App Library is up to date. To ensure this, all apps need to be assessed by ORCHA and updated at least once a year.

How do I use this App Library?

To use this App Library, you use the search box or click on the icons for the health topic you are interested in. Browse the app cards and look for health or care apps that may support you with your health and wellbeing. You can choose and download an app if it’s available on the Apple App Store or Google Play. If the app is a web app, you can click to go to the website it is on. Your healthcare provider or organisation can also directly recommend or suggest an app to you. Then you can read information about the app in this App Library to decide if it’s right for you. If you are a health or care professional, you will need your organisation to give you login details for a Pro Account to use this App Library and recommend apps to your patients or service users.

Who chose the apps in this App Library?

Your care provider or health organisation have chosen the apps that are in this App Library. All of the apps in this App Library have been tested (assessed) by ORCHA, who are experts at checking apps are safe for you. ORCHA do not choose which apps go in the App Library, and nobody can pay ORCHA to put their app in an App Library without a test (assessment).

Why do apps need to be tested or assessed?

Health and care apps, or digital health products, need to be tested (assessed) to make sure they will be safe for you to use. There are many questions that we need to answer about an app before they can safely be recommended to you by your health or care provider. This includes questions like:

  • What is the app made for?
  • Will this app work for your health or care needs?
  • Who can use it and how easy is it to use?
  • Will my private information (data) be safe?
  • Who made the app and can we trust their research?
  • Can my doctor or care provider see what I am doing on the app so they can support me while I use it?

It’s important to ask these questions, and many more, to find out as much as we can about a health or care app. This is because using a health or care app can affect your health and we want your experience to be as safe as possible.

Will my doctor know if I am using this App Library?

If your doctor or care provider uses this App Library and recommends apps to you, they will know that you using this App Library. Otherwise, they will not know. You can download or go to the website of any apps you see in this App Library. To help support you with your care, it may be a good idea to let your doctor know which apps you are using. Then they can recommend other, or better, apps that could help you.

Are all the apps in this App Library free to use?

A lot of the apps in this App Library are free to use, but some of them may need to be paid for. Either you or your health provider can pay for the cost of an app. There are two ways an app may need to be paid for. The first way is paying for in app purchases. This means part of the app is free to use and paying for in app purchases will give you extra features that may improve your experience of using it. The second way is when all parts of an app need to be paid for. In this case you can pay to use it yourself. But if your healthcare provider decides they want to pay for it, then they will offer you a code for free access to the app. There are some apps where you cannot pay to use it yourself, even if it’s free, and only a healthcare provider can give you access to that app.

What should I do if I have a question or concern about an app in this App Library?

We understand that there may be times when you have a question or concern about an app in this App Library. Please email us at at any time, and we will be happy to help you.