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NHS Commissioning Board launches library of NHS-reviewed phone apps to help keep people healthy

The NHS Commissioning Board will today unveil a library of NHS-reviewed health apps that will help people manage their health, as well as ten brand new apps for people to use.

The new Health Apps Library so far contains around 70 apps that have been produced by a variety of organisations and then reviewed by the NHS to make sure they are clinically safe.

The NHS Commissioning Board, in its recent planning guidance for the NHS, committed to improving outcomes for patients through the use of technology.

The Health Apps Library is one of the initiatives that aims to help the NHS achieve this goal, by giving the public access to health services at the touch of a button.

The library will be available at apps.nhs.uk and via the NHS Choices website.

The apps will help people with tasks such as getting advice on their condition, booking repeat prescriptions, accessing test results, and finding the most appropriate NHS service.

Tim Kelsey, National Director for Patients and Information at the NHS Commissioning Board, said:

“Giving people easier access to their NHS and improving outcomes with technology is something we are strongly committed to. People now use phone apps in almost all walks of life and health is no different.

“We want to put patients in control, giving people easy access to information will encourage patients and the public to participate in their care and the NHS in general. Transparency is key, transforming access to data in health and care is central to our vision of delivering a truly patient centred NHS.

“There is somewhere in the region of 13,000 apps out there which profess to give various types of medical advice. The library is a way of giving an NHS stamp of approval to apps so users know they are safe.

“The apps can do a variety of things.  Some give patients, living with a long term condition, advice on how to stay well.  Others give people access to their health records and the ability to share care plans online.”

The first iteration of the library, and the 10 new apps, will be launched at the NHS Innovation Expo conference, which is being held on 13 and14 March 2013 in London.  Delegates will be able to see the new apps for the first time in a special “Apps Zone”.

At the conference, Creative England, a national agency that invests in digital media, will – in collaboration with the NHS Commissioning Board -launch a £250,000 investment fund designed to support app development. Creative England will next month formerly invite small and medium-size enterprises (SME) to apply for funding if they want to develop apps that may benefit patients and the public.

The NHS Commissioning Board will assist by suggesting the priority areas where apps might be most helpful and by helping assess applications.

The competition is set to result in the support of five new healthcare apps, funded 50 per cent by the fund and 50 per cent  by the successful SME.. Creative England will manage the call process, legal agreements and contract with each selected company. The investment will take the form of revenue sharing agreements between the SME and Creative England.

The ten new health apps, developed by various companies, are detailed below.

In most cases the apps are available to everyone whilst others that require links to clinical systems will be available in areas of the country where the NHS organisation has enabled the functionality

HealthFabric

Enables patients to make informed changes in their lifestyle using information accessed from their GP electronic health record (EMIS) and the ability to create online care plans with their clinician.

Audience: People living with long term conditions.

Usage: The app is being used across 7 CCGs across the Midlands and will be available for those CCGs who would like to commission this service for their patients.

eRedbook

The eRedbook is the UK’s first digital Personal Child Health Record.

This record, which is held by the parents of the child, contains general information of a child’s health, growth, immunisations and development.

The app enables the record to be updated by parents whenever the child visits a health professional or with their own observations.

Audience: Parents

Usage: The app is free for the public and is being trialled across 4 NHS organisations and will be available for those CCGs who would like to commission this service for their patients.

Patient Access Mobile 

Patient Access for mobile provides secure transactional services to the citizen that includes appointment booking and repeat prescription ordering via a mobile phone.

Patient Access is a free service that lets you access your local GP services through your mobile device:

  • Book new appointments without having to phone.
  • Order repeat prescriptions so they are ready to pick up.
  • Change your address and contact details in seconds.
  • Send a secure message to your practice

Audience: people living in England

Usage: The app is free to the public and available at any GP practise using EMIS that has enabled these functions.

PatientsKnowBest

Allows patients to get their laboratory results and send secure messages with their doctors and nurses.

Audience: people living in England

Usage: The app is being used trialled across 20 hospitals and 8 CCGs and will be available for those CCGs who would like to commission this service for their patients.

Vitrucare

Enables patients to make informed changes in their lifestyle using information accessed from their GP electronic health record (SystmOne) with the ability to create online care plans with their clinician.

Audience: People who are looking to manage their conditions – such as Long Term Condition(s).

Usage: The app is being used in Bradford and will be available for those CCGs who would like to commission this service for their patients.

NHS Sound Doctor

NHS Sound Doctor is an audio app which helps you understand your long term conditions in more detail so it is easier to look after yourself and get the best out of life. Some of the country’s top doctors, nurses and other health professionals are interviewed, along with other patients, sharing experiences and information.

Audience: people living in England

Usage: The app is free for any member of the public to download.

Finer Day

Enables Older People to create a safe social network supplemented with personalised healthcare information and technologies. It allows people to connect with their families, informal carers and front line care staff.

Audience: Older People and their carers

Usage: The app is free for any member of the public to download.

Well Happy – (MyHealthLondon)

Helps young people to find help when they need it. It will signpost young people to local mental health, sexual health and substance misuse services in London.

Audience: Young People in London

Usage: The app is free for any member of the public to download for finding out about services in London.

RallyRound

Enables invited family, neighbours and friends to organise themselves online around relatives that need care. Everyone can see what needs doing and who is doing what. Rally Round helps them to help people continue to live independently.

Audience: Older people and their carers.

Usage: The app is free (for the first 2000 users) for any member of the public to download.

Clinical Trails

Enables the public to find clinical trials based upon the conditions they have and where they live. This will not only help those patients but also accelerate the pace of research and bring about faster cures.

Audience: people living in England

Usage: The app is free for any member of the public to download.

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