CHICAGO — Xcertia, an organization that supports the collaborative development of industry guidelines for safe and effective mobile health applications (apps), announced 4 newly appointed members to its Board of Directors drawn from organizations that are some of health care’s biggest movers and shakers.

The new members of the Xcertia Board of Directors include:

  • Kaveh Safavi, M.D., J.D., senior managing director, health industry, Accenture
  • Morgan Reed, president, ACT | The App Association
  • Steve Ommen, M.D., associate dean and medical director of connected care, Mayo Clinic
  • Joseph Kvedar, M.D., vice president, connected health, Partners HealthCare

The 4 new directors join a board that includes 4 directors, each representing one of Xcertia’s founding organizations: American Heart Association (AHA), American Medical Association (AMA), DHX Group and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

The directors representing Xcertia’s founding organizations include:

  • Meighan Girgus, chief marketing & programs officer, AHA
  • Michael Hodgkins, M.D., chair, Xcertia, and vice president & chief medical information officer, AMA
  • David Vinson, vice president, Xcertia, and founder and chairman, DHX Group
  • Carla Smith, treasurer, Xcertia, and executive vice president, HIMSS

“Xcertia is fortunate to have a diverse, influential and highly motivated core group of individuals representing and guiding our collaborative effort to develop best practices aimed at promoting safe, effective and reputable mobile health apps,” said Dr. Hodgkins, chair of the Xcertia Board of Directors. “We look forward to the contributions from our new directors as Xcertia continues to grow and prepares to introduce a trusted set of guidelines for the industry.”

The 8 current directors will work together on appointments to fill the remaining board seats. When fully appointed, the Xcertia Board of Directors will have 15 members.

Established in December 2016, Xcertia responds to the critical need for a comprehensive effort to develop a framework of principles to promote safe and effective mobile health apps and positively affect the trajectory of the mobile health app market. Xcertia has started the guideline development process and is focused on topics such as privacy, security, usability, content and adaptability to clinical practice with the goal of being a trustworthy resource to support consumer and clinician choice of mobile health apps.

Xcertia’s governing board is committed to broad representation from consumers, developers, payers, clinicians, academia and others with an interest in the development of guidelines for mobile health apps. To join the diverse and expanding list of member organizations, visit for more details.


Editor’s Note:  The following selection of quotes has been drawn from the newest members of the Xcertia Board of Directors.

Kaveh Safavi, MD, JD, senior managing director, health industry at Accenture, said, “As health care consumers further embrace digital health tools, we’re seeing mobile health apps empower patients to take charge of their health and interact with physicians on their own terms. The future of health care depends on the development of digital capabilities that are safe, secure and that enable patients to share data and doctors to deliver care wherever they are, which is why I’m honored to lend my experience toward this initiative.”

Morgan Reed, president of ACT | The App Association, said, “Mobile apps have the potential to revolutionize health care by giving individuals greater access to their health information while improving patient outcomes. It is important to incorporate the voices of doctors, insurers, and mobile health innovators to develop the guidelines and practices necessary to promote effective and safe mobile health apps. We are excited to be part of this endeavor.”

Steve Ommen, MD, associate dean and medical director of connected care at Mayo Clinic, said, “Mayo Clinic recognizes the unique capabilities that mobile devices offer to patients and health care teams. We approach app development with a focus on meeting patient needs as the priority. Apps need to increase clarity and not add complexity for the patients or the care teams. A major goal is to help providers and care teams connect to patients, extending and enhancing our relationships with patients.”

Joseph Kvedar, MD, vice president, connected health at Partners HealthCare, said, “Making mobile health apps a trustworthy resource for consumers, and giving clinicians confidence in these digital tools are critical steps in advancing the adoption of safe and effective digital technology. One major concern we will be addressing is data security. There is always some risk sharing personal data, but there are also rewards. In my opinion, we can take steps to minimize the risk and clear the path for the widespread use of digital technologies to positively impact health outcomes, enhance the lifespan of our citizens, and improve the patient-provider relationship.”


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