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Plans to allow NHS-approved health apps to feed patients’ data into health records

As part of £4bn upgrade of the NHS’ online services, the plan is that this data will be able to improve online resources such as medical records, prescriptions and symptom advice services.

The plans are part of a radical evolution of online medical services using patients’ data.

As part of the ongoing expansion of the NHS 111 service, data on maternity, cancer and mental health will be added in the next few months.

The new service is being developed by NHS England with advice from leading clinicians and will be trialed offline before being rolled out to patients.

Jeremy Hunt, the current Health Secretary was quoted by the BBC, “We are going to make very big moves in the next 12 months into apps and wearables,

“I wear a Fitbit, many people use apps. What is going to change with apps is the way that these apps link directly into our own medical records.

“And by March next year NHS England are going to publish a library of approved apps in areas like mental health and chronic conditions like diabetes.

“We will also in the next 12 months be having a competition because we think we need better apps than the ones that are available in the market.

“We don’t want to develop them ourselves but we want them to be developed by entrepreneurs who have the specialist knowledge and creativity to do this.

“These will link into people’s medical records.”

The government’s aim is to have a completely paperless NHS service by 2018, but the investment is not without controversy however with many calling for such funds to be put directly back into the NHS system.

The importance of such clinical data cannot be underestimated. From our own studies and our strategy of calling for improved sharing of cancer data, such a move will improve the lives of those affected by brain tumours.

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