Herefordshire & Worcestershire App Library
Have you ever considered using an app to support you in managing health conditions or your general wellbeing? Maybe you have but struggle to find one that's good?
NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG, in partnership with ORCHA, have launched a Health & Wellbeing App Library for Herefordshire and Worcestershire, which contains hundreds of independently reviewed and clinically accredited apps to meet your needs. You can visit the library at HWhealthapps.orcha.co.uk.
Below are also some FAQs and a quick start guide to help you get started, but please do get in touch with us via the Contact Us page if you have any questions or feedback you wish to give to help us improve the library. Read on to find out more about the library:
With the widespread ownership of smartphones and tablets, and the ever increasing use of apps for anything from tracking jogging routes, providing healthy dinner recipes, right through to monitoring heart rhythms, there is a real opportunity for apps to effectively support you in managing any health conditions or your general wellbeing.
Unfortunately with over 360,000 health apps in the most common app stores (Google Play, Apple etc.) and with many not having a clear indication of how safe or effective they are, it can be incredibly difficult to find one that's appropriate, trustworthy and effective.
Our partner ORCHA have formed a team of people, including actively practicing clinicians, to independently review and accredit health apps against a large number of stringent criteria in areas such as clinical assurance, data privacy and user experience, giving each app an easy to understand % score which will help you decide whether to download it or not.
Our local app library will only contain apps that score well, ensuring only higher quality apps are available to download. The library also gives health and care professionals the ability to recommend apps to you during consultations, by sending a text message or email link to the app where it is appropriate and if agreed with you.
Please be assured we do not expect apps or the library to replace any health services you may be using, but rather compliment them. For example, you may be waiting for an appointment to discuss a sleeping issue with your GP and could utilise an app to monitor your sleeping patterns. The app may even record those patterns, which you can then show to your GP during your appointment to help with diagnosis.
Please do take a look at the library and we hope you find an app that is useful for you. Don't forget, your GP Practice is still open during the COVID pandemic and offer many ways to access services digitally, as well as provide consultations via telephone or video link for your safety or convenience.
App Library FAQs:
1. Who are ORCHA?
ORCHA is the world’s leading health app evaluation and distribution organisation. They help governments, health and social care organisations and the public to choose and recommend safe and trustworthy health apps - orcha.co.uk/about-us/
2. How is the % scoring for apps calculated?
Apps are analysed by a specialist team at ORCHA and scored against a number of criteria - please visit HWhealthapps.orcha.co.uk/about/ and scroll down to “The Review Process” section which provides more detail.
3. What do the different ‘levels’ displayed on the apps mean?
Due to the amount of variation in health and wellbeing apps, ORCHA have developed an App Classification system which categorises an app in one of five levels (0 to 4). Level 0 apps tend to be very simple and focused on wellbeing (e.g. apps that time you whilst you brush your teeth), whilst level 4 are often subject to medical device regulations (as they may help diagnose medical conditions). For more information, please visit HWhealthapps.orcha.co.uk/about/ and scroll down to “The Review Process”.
4. What do the different ‘cost’ options displayed on apps mean?
There are 3 key cost types for the apps:
- Entirely Free – the app has no costs associated with it, either up front or once you download it.
- In App Purchases – the app is completely free to download and offers the option for individuals to make purchases within the app once downloaded. For example, this could be for a subscription to a weight loss programme or to unlock additional content such as exercise videos.
- Paid – the app requires payment up front to download. The price is usually displayed under the ‘Pricing’ section when viewing the app information.
5. Is there a time limit to download an app I have been recommended?
Not at all, you can download an app using your recommendation link at any point.
6. Why is an app I search for missing from the library?
There are a number of possibilities:
- Naming Format - some apps are all one word e.g. TalkLife. Currently you will need to search for it in exactly that format, so it appears in the search results.
- Evaluation Status - not all apps have been evaluated, normally because an app developer has purposefully excluded it from app stores (Google Play, Apple etc.) or because it does not meet ORCHA’s minimum evaluation criteria, such as having been updated within the last 18 months. If required, ORCHA can contact the app developer directly to discuss evaluation of the app, but there is no guarantee this will be possible. If an app has not been evaluated, it will not be included in the library.
7. What should I do if I run into technical problems using the library?
8. How can I provide general feedback on the app library?
Please visit herefordshireandworcestershireccg.nhs.uk/contact-us