NHS Apps Library connects patients with digital health tools
July 17, 2018
A digital platform run by the National Health Service (NHS) seeks to connect people to the health information and services they need.
The NHS Apps Library gives people access to a range of digital tools that allow them to manage and improve their health in a convenient and coordinated way.
The selection of apps in the library is currently small, and all of them are tested and approved by the NHS, to ensure they meet a high standard of quality, safety and effectiveness.
The apps library is currently in beta, or testing phase, and the NHS is encouraging and accepting feedback from users on how to improve the offering.
Over time, the NHS intends to grow the apps library to cover a broader scope of health and social care needs.
Juliet Bauer, Director of Digital Experience at NHS England, and Rachel Murphy, Delivery Director at NHS Digital, said they had a vision to provide apps that people can trust, and to support a better patient experience.
“We want to enable people to access care in a convenient and coordinated way, through the digital tools that all of us are now familiar with in other areas of our lives,” they said.
“Our vision is for NHS.UK to host leading healthcare apps so they are accessible and trusted by the public. The new digital tools pages on NHS.UK have been designed to showcase a selected number of apps while we test our thinking. Each tool has been through an assessment and is safe to use.”
Some of the apps in the library carry an ‘NHS approved’ label, demonstrating that there is clinical evidence that it supports health outcomes, while the ‘Being tested in the NHS’ label shows that the app is part of an NHS programme that is monitoring and gathering evidence.
The apps have been selected to trial because the NHS identified where there was a need for digital intervention in patient health.
In many cases, the NHS has identified a need for a digital health tool, the market then develops the tools and ultimately, the patients benefit.
The apps in the library have undergone technical assessment, including seeking clarification from developers and vendors regarding compliance with the Data Protection Act has, through to collecting personal data and other key areas.