The latest innovations in smartphone technology can help patients and the public to find and use NHS services, manage conditions and make better lifestyle choices in a way that is very convenient for them. People could soon be directed to free or cheap apps by their GPs to allow them to monitor and manage their health more effectively.
It follows a call to find the best new ideas and existing smartphone apps that help people and doctors better manage care which received nearly 500 entries and over 12,600 votes and comments.
The most popular app ideas were:
• to help manage long-term conditions like diabetes
• to help people deal with post-traumatic stress
• to track and monitor things like blood pressure
• to help people find NHS services on a map
• to get practical information about keeping fit and eating healthily
The Diabetes App will give people with diabetes reminders on checking blood sugar levels and taking medication. It will allow them to monitor, record and track blood sugar information, which can then be sent electronically to their surgery or clinic. The app also uses emerging FoodWiz software to help people control their diabetes or even help those at risk of diabetes to prevent it. It will help patients to control their diet so they can rely less on medication and attending obesity clinics by allowing them to zap an increasing number of barcodes while shopping and get immediate information on the amount of calories, carbohydrates and fats.
Martha Lane-Fox, UK Digital Champion and dot.com entrepreneur, has commented: “We live in a world where digital technology is an essential part of people’s lives – whether it’s at work or simply getting around town. I want to encourage more people to develop their digital skills, and that’s why it’s been great to be a part of this initiative. Using apps that locate local health services or apps that help you to get fit can dramatically improve your daily life.”