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May 5, 2015updated 30 Aug 2016 12:34pm

BSI and Innovate UK launch advice for health app developers

BT, BUPA, NHS England and Royal College of Physicians collaborate on new rulebook on health and wellness apps.

By Alexander Sword

BSI and Innovate UK have developed a code of practice for health and wellness apps.

The guidance, titled PAS 277, gives recommendations for the quality criteria of health apps, aiming to help them meet the requirements of healthcare professionals, patients and carers.

Covering the entire app lifecycle, including development, testing, releasing and updating of apps, it is aimed to help app developers and publishers create apps for devices that are fit for use in a health context.

The guidance stops short of determining whether an app is subject to regulatory control. Governments are keen to ensure that any software or hardware that makes a specific claim is scrutinised appropriately, with the UK releasing guidance in August 2014 clarifying which software is regulated.

PAS 277 was developed through a consensus-based approach involving experts from organisations including the Association of British Healthcare Industries, BT, BUPA, NHS England and the Royal College of Physicians.

Anne Hayes Head of Market Development for Governance at BSI said: "There is huge scope for advancement in the area of wellness innovation, and we are thrilled to be pioneering work in the healthcare arena.

"It is therefore also our responsibility to safeguard the consumer and healthcare professional by governing the apps that are developed in the future. We can only do that by arming app developers with guidance such as PAS 277."

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