Could you be popping into your local GP sometime soon and receiving a prescription for an app on your smartphone?
Yesterday, the UK Health Secretary Andrew Lansley opined:
“So many people use apps every day to keep up with their friends, with the news, find out when the next bus will turn up or which train to catch. I want to make using apps to track blood pressure, to find the nearest source of support when you need it and to get practical help in staying healthy the norm.”
“Information about your health is a service – just like the GP surgeries, Walk-in Centres and hospitals that millions of people access every week. With more information at their fingertips, patients can truly be in the driving seat.”
“Innovation and technology can revolutionise the health service, and we are looking at how the NHS can use these apps for the benefit of patients, including how GPs could offer them for free.”
It’s nice to see the government acknowledging the ubiquity of mHealth, and a nice move to encourage both the technorati, health firms, startups and Pharma to start producing good quality, helpful native (and mobile web) apps to benefit patients. I expect we have a way to go before the high-quality information becomes the norm, but I applaud the health secretary for his stance.