An initiative to help people lead healthier lives from their smartphone and tablet has been launched by Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust in collaboration with ORCHA – the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications.
The partnership aims to make it easier for the Salford community to find approved apps for hundreds of different needs, such as better mental health, stopping smoking, improving fitness, overcoming breathing difficulties, and managing diabetes.
Dr Jim Ritchie, chief clinical information officer and a consultant renal physician at the Trust said: “Every day across Salford, people from all walks of life, young and old, use mobile apps to improve their health and well-being.
“With more than four 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.”
With over 325,000 health care apps on the market, there is now a solution to help residents of Salford find the best and safest ones, in the shape of a library on the web: salford.orcha.co.uk
Each app is subjected to seven stages of tests to investigate how good, secure and user-friendly it really is, and to assess any potential risks it may hold, before getting a clear and transparent review score.
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 was 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 at Salford Royal to bring this initiative to life.
“Their expertise and robust approach has tested and shaped this programme into one that the wider NHS can replicate.”