Have you ever wondered if that newfangled digital health product you started using is actually making you healthier? You are not alone!
Lots of apps, wearables, and other digital health products are being developed, but measuring the success and effectiveness of these products can be complicated.
Public Health England has just launched a new service to help teams developing or running a digital health product to evaluate if it is effective and actually improves users’ health outcomes.
- How useful is it? What would make it more useful to you?
- What did you like about it? Dislike about it?
- What would you like to know more about?
How will our service help teams evaluate if digital products are actually making people healthier?
Our service is composed of three main parts to support teams through all steps in evaluating a digital health product:
- Practical guidance on evaluating digital health products that takes you through the whole journey of conducting an evaluation. The guidance was written by academic evaluation experts from University College London, Dr. Henry Potts and Dr. Paulina Bondaronek, with significant contributions from Public Health England’s in-house Digital team and Advisory Group.
- Facilitated workshops offered by Public Health England’s Evidence and Evaluation team that provide a structured, personalised environment where digital teams can map how their product works, what they want to achieve and how this can be measured in an evaluation. At the moment, our workshops are only offered at Public Health England and to a select few digital teams across the country. We are working on providing the workshops more broadly, so, in the meantime, you can run one with your own team by following our guidance here. Let us know how it goes!
- We are establishing a community of best practice on the topic of digital health evaluation, in partnership with industry leaders. Watch this space or reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to get involved.
Why are we confident our service will actually make evaluating digital health products easier?
We went out and spoke to real teams designing, developing and commissioning digital health products across the health system and industry. This helped us to understand their experiences and how Public Health England could make their lives easier.
Barriers to evaluating digital health products include accessing a representative group of users, capturing more insightful data than just “vanity metrics” (clicks, downloads, likes) and keeping pace with the rapid change a product undergoes over the course of its lifecycle.
We co-designed different solutions for evaluating products with digital health teams, checking in with our Advisory Group to make sure we were on track and adhering to best practice such as the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence’s Evidence Standards Framework for Digital Health Technology.
Evaluating Digital Health Products is the collective effort not just of us here at Public Health England but of all the digital health teams across the health system, local government and industry. These teams kindly gave us their time, thoughts, and energy to collaboratively unpick how best to evaluate digital health products.
We are looking forward to hearing from you!