GPs to prescribe health apps to patients

Patients could soon be directed to mobile phone apps by their GPs, to help them monitor and manage their health more effectively.

The plans follow a competition to find the best new and existing smartphone apps that help patients and doctors improve care.

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More than 500 ideas for new apps were submitted, and thousands of votes were cast. The most popular idea was an app to help manage long-term diseases, such as diabetes.

Other ideas included an app to help with post-traumatic stress, an app to monitor blood pressure and one to help locate nearby NHS services.

“So many people use apps every day to keep up with their friends, with the news, find out when the next bus will turn up or which train to catch,î said Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

ìI want to make using apps to track blood pressure, to find the nearest source of support when you need it and to get practical help in staying healthy the norm.î

One health app already in use is the ëPatient Knows Bestí app, which gives patients access to all their medical records.
This app means that patients can hold online consultations with any member of their clinical team, leading to a more personal level of care. This app has already proved successful in hospitals such as Great Ormand Street and UCL.

ìInformation about your health is a service – just like the GP surgeries, Walk-in Centres and hospitals that millions of people access every week. With more information at their fingertips, patients can truly be in the driving seat,î said Andrew Lansley.

ìInnovation and technology can revolutionise the health service, and we are looking at how the NHS can use these apps for the benefit of patients, including how GPs could offer them for free.î

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