How digital health providers can support the NHS App

NHS England’s ambition is to make the NHS App the digital front door to the health service. While the number of people who have downloaded the app is impressive, recent evidence suggests that usage remains low.

So, what role do digital health providers play in supporting the successful development of the app? And how can digital providers ensure they can integrate with the app? We’ve discussed three key points of consideration for digital health providers below.

1. Build a strong local and regional use case

Digital health and social care providers should continue to build regional partnerships. NHSE will rely on insight from ICSs to inform the expansion of the app. Backing from local and regional organisations who have had success with your product will go a long way.

2. Prioritise interoperability

Many trusts and providers require digital health tools to be interoperable with their EPR providers. Without this, a successful partnership cannot happen. Digital health providers are already being asked if they can fully interoperate with the app. It’s important that providers keep this in mind for product development.

3. Understand strategic plans for the app

Development of the NHS app is one of NHS England’s key digital priorities, enabling people to access the right care at the right time.

NHSE also hopes that the app will help tackle some of the fundamental challenges facing the health service. Work is underway to allow users to compare waiting times at different hospitals. This will reduce overcrowding at sites experiencing high demand and help patients access prompt care. The app will also support access to high quality remote consultations, helping to relieve pressure on in person services.

In the longer term, the app will also make it easier for patients to engage in clinical research, driving the development of new treatments.

If you would like to find out more about NHSE’s visions for the app, or would like to join us at our upcoming members events with key NHSE digital leaders, get in touch: