A library of digital health apps has been launched by NHS England as part of efforts to make it easier for people to find trusted tools and information.
The NHS Digital Apps Library, currently in its beta phase, includes a selection of apps that have either been approved by the health service or are currently being tested. Each one is verified as being safe to use.
At the same time, NHS England has introduced a platform to help developers create digital healthcare products.
Available on the existing developer.nhs.uk, the mobile health space allows developers to access health data, development tools and guidance as well as test their apps.
In a joint blogpost published last week, NHS England’s director of digital experience, Juliet Bauer, and NHS Digital’s delivery director, Rachel Murphy, said: “Our vision is to transform the way people experience the NHS, by designing digital health tools and services that connect them to the information and services they need, when they need them. 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.”
Digital tools can make healthcare more coordinated, responsive and convenient, they explained.
“But in order to achieve this, the areas of greatest need have to be identified, so the market can create the right tools at the right time. Our apps labelled ‘Being Tested in the NHS’ are addressing those areas and are a result of a responsive market.
“The developer.nhs.uk will become our primary marketing platform to advertise where digital intervention is required, allowing the market to respond in an open and competitive way. The tools and guidance available will mature in time, contributing to the Digital Standard for Health and Care.”