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NHS to ‘kitemark’ health-related apps

Published on 13/11/14 at 03:01pm
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Plans to improve the quality of patient care by introducing a ‘kitemark’ to safely validate healthcare apps have been announced by the NHS.

This process is said to give doctors the confidence to recommend approved apps to help their patients manage health conditions, and sits alongside its other new idea which is to give patients online access to their GP records via digital platforms by 2015.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt says: “I want the NHS to be a world class showcase of what innovation can achieve. Today’s plan sets out how we can give patients 21st century, personalised healthcare.”

This latest news fits in with the UK government’s wider remit of wanting to offer people access to all their health records by 2018 – including information held by hospitals, community, mental health and social care services.

The NHS indicates not only will everyone be able to access their health records at the click of a button – detailing every prescription, test results and visit to the GP and hospital – there is also scope to allow patients the chance to add their own opinions alongside official medical notes.

“We must embrace modern technology to help us lead healthier lives, and if we want – to take more control when are ill,” says Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s national director for patients and information director. “Our ambition is to make the NHS a digital pioneer for our patients and citizens.”

The said plans will look to build on the success of Co-ordinate My Care (CMC), a service set up in 2012 that gives patients choice and improves quality of life. The planned digitalisation of the Personal Child Health Record (PCHR) will also offer mothers personalised mobile care records for their child.

"This will put an end to worrying about leaving your child's information at home when going for a review, vaccination, or emergency treatment,” continues Kelsey.

Earlier this week the NHS outlined its Personalised Health and Care 2020 strategy, and reported that GP’s are to begin ‘prescribing’ health apps as part of a move to monitor issues such as weight and lifestyle choices.

According to the Daily Telegraph the move means that the most relevant apps available will even be branded with the NHS logo.

Tom Robinson

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