An App a Day... Helping Humber Stay Happy and Healthy

NHS partners across the Humber are breaking new ground with an innovation designed to help people lead healthier lives from their smartphone and tablet.

With over 325,000 health apps on the market, there is now a solution to help residents of the Humber region find the best and safest ones, in the shape of an easy-to-use library on the web: humberhealthapps.co.uk.

For the first time, residents across Humber can access a raft of reviewed apps to improve their health and well-being from a single source - safe in the knowledge that they have been tried and tested, and that their personal data is secure.

Each app is subjected to seven stages of rigorous testing to investigate how good, safe and user-friendly it really is, and to assess any potential risks it may hold, before getting a clear and transparent review score that is shown on the apps library.  With upwards of 200 new health and care apps hitting the market every day, the library is updated constantly to keep pace with the latest clinical thinking.

Furthermore, this site has the added dimension of helping GPs and other health professionals across Humber recommend trusted apps to their patients if this is something they’re interested in.

Dr Ekta Elston, Medical Director at NHS North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Health apps can support patients to manage their own health, especially if they are trying to improve their own wellbeing or are living with a long term condition. However, there are hundreds of apps out there and it’s important to know what to trust. Everything in our library is tried and tested so patients can be reassured the apps they choose to download and use are up to date and safe.”

The initiative has been developed by NHS partners across Humber in collaboration with experts from ORCHA - the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications. The partnership aims to make it easier for the Humber community to find the best and safest apps for hundreds of different needs, such as better mental health, stopping smoking, improving fitness, overcoming breathing difficulties, and managing diabetes.

John Mitchell, Associate Director of IT at the CCG said, “Every day across Humber, people from all walks of life, young and old, use mobile apps to improve their health and well-being.

“With more than five million downloads globally every day; they are increasingly becoming an important part of our everyday life.

“Yet for us, apps aren’t just about giving information - they are also about engaging patients in their own healthcare.

“Our patients already use apps to check their symptoms, track their worries, monitor their medications, and review all manner of concerns. Now this site allows us to help them find those apps that will let them do so in a safe way.”

With its depth of knowledge of the app landscape and the needs of the NHS, ORCHA helped NHS partners across the Humber region to develop a growing library of safe and secure apps that it could not have achieved alone.

Liz Ashall-Payne, ORCHA’s Chief Executive, said: “The market is awash with mobile health apps – there are twice as many as just four years ago.

“But until now it has been difficult for people to navigate app stores to compare different apps, and ensure they are good and safe.

“It has been a fantastic experience working with clinicians and digital health innovators from across NHS partners in Humber as we’ve brought this initiative to life.”

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