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CQC calls for NHSE to publish 'safety test' of triage apps amid warnings of variation

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Healthcare apps that triage patients should be put through a ‘fair test of clinical performance’ published by NHS England to ensure their safety, according to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

In addition, the Department of Health and Social Care should look into whether ‘safety-netting’ advice should be available to the public about how to use symptom checkers, said the CQC.

The CQC made the recommendations as part of work to shape its approach to regulating healthcare apps. It found digital triage tools are currently not fully clinically validated or tested by product regulators and discovered ‘there is great variation in their clinical performance’.

NHS England and other bodies should assess where people have been wrongly escalated, resulting in undue anxiety, as well as where tools have failed to address people’s ill health, said the CQC.

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Source: PULSE, 30 January 2020

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