NHS plan to launch app library later this month
The eagerly awaited NHS app library is scheduled to go live the end of march, however it will only have some apps on offer.
Indra Hoshi, clinical lead digital in urgent care at NHS England, spoke at the Digital Technology Show in London earlier this week, commenting that the library will be available this month
In the Q&A session held after her talk, Joshi also mentioned “by end of year we’ll have a good app library up and running, which will tell you what the leading apps are in this space”.
The app library will be hosted on NHS Choices and co-designed with NICE, MHRA, Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Digital. Joshi described the library as “NHS approved apps, because they’ve gone through rigorous testing”.
Although a NHS England spokesperson would not confirm the exact release date for the app library, they did hint a beta version would likely be released first.
“NHS England and NHS Digital are working together on a number of innovative projects, including a beta digital tools library, with full details set to be announced in due course.”
A previous NHS app library had previously been launched and then shut down in 2015 after it was revealed many of the endorsed apps could potentially leak personal information and lacked evidence of effectiveness.
In October 2016, the Care Quality Commission started providing regulatory scrutiny to digital companies, and it has been suggested that this could provide a step up into the app library.
Two digital healthcare providers have received their clean bill of health from the CQC, Babylon Health and Dr Now.
Diarmaid Crean, PHE’s deputy director of digital, told the UK Health Show in October last year that he had already been approached by digital GP service Babylon about an app library endorsement.
PHE has been working on a four-stage app endorsement process for several years, although it is unclear how of this work has been incorporated into the latest app library.