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PHE updates guidance on evaluating digital health products


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Public Health England (PHE) has created a practical guide to evaluating and improving apps and other digital health products.

It has recently updated its guidance, available through the health improvement section of GOV.UK, taking into account the experience of evaluation during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are three sections to the guidance, beginning with a step-by-step guide to evaluation that includes defining how products should work, designing the evaluation and choosing relevant methods, carrying out the evaluation, analysing the data then using the results.

Second is as an evaluation during the pandemic, based on the recognition that this needs to be done at speed.

Third is a methods library that provides an introduction to specific evaluation methods for issues such as clinical audits, using feedback studies, running randomised control trials and usability testing.

Impacts, costs, benefits

PHE said the approaches can help to demonstrate a product’s impact and how its costs compare to benefits; provide information on how to make a product or service better; and help demonstrate the value of a product to commissioners.

It added that evaluation can be useful even when a product has already been launched.

The first draft of the guidance was published in March of last year.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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