Clinicians can now prescribe NHS apps free to patients

NHS clinicians can now prescribe apps from the NHS Apps Library free to patients thanks to a new platform.

The AppScript platform has been made publicly available to NHS clinicians by data science research company IQVIA.

The launch follows the recent IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science report which showed that digital health apps have the potential to improve patient outcomes and save the UK healthcare system £2 billion every year.

AppScript was made available to a number of beta testing sites including six GP surgeries and five pharmacies. When clinicians used it to prescribe digital patient engagement tools to patients, they found that patients engaged 41% of the time.

The use of apps by NHS clinicians could make practices more efficient and effect at supporting patient health goals. Repeat prescription apps and telemedicine apps could help GPs reduce unnecessary administrative patient visits.

“Digital Health apps create a unique opportunity for NHS clinicians to encourage patients to change behaviours well after they leave the GP surgery or pharmacy. However, selecting and prescribing the apps most likely to provide patient care benefits has traditionally been a challenge. Our AppScript pilots showed that discussing and prescribing apps with patients was relatively simple. IQVIA’s AppScript solution is providing a needed public service by enabling NHS clinicians to get started prescribing NHS Apps Library apps for free.” said Professor Paul Wallace, clinical director digital, South London HIN and UCL Emeritus Professor of Primary Care.

Paul Chatterton, regional deputy superintendent pharmacist at Weldrick Pharmacy said: “Our vision for a digital pharmacy includes the proactive engagement of patients by pharmacy staff, often by providing valuable digital patient engagement tools, such as apps and educational content. AppScript is a valuable tool that helps our staff members learn about and ultimately prescribe leading apps, such as repeat prescription apps which aid patients in self-management and furthers our vision. The patient engagement has been remarkable, with 48% of patients downloading prescribed apps.”

Tim Sheppard, general manager, Northern Europe, IQVIA, said: “Our AppScript pilots have shown the groundswell of interest NHS clinicians and patients have in digital health. The public launch of AppScript represents a major step forward in our comprehensive strategy for progressing the vision of digital patient engagement across the United Kingdom.”


Reece Armstrong is a reporter for Digital Health Age. Coming from the North East of England, Reece has an MA in Media & Journalism and a BA in Popular & Contemporary Music from Newcastle University. Reach him on Twitter or email via:

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