Devon’s NHS launch online health and wellbeing app library

Published: 21 February 2022

The NHS in Devon has announced the launch of a new health and wellbeing app library for local people, powered by the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA).

Effectively a comparison website, the localised site for Devon allows patients and healthcare professionals to search and download from a wide range of apps, making it quicker and easier for people across Devon to access safe and accredited health and wellbeing applications on their computer or smart phone.

Founded by NHS clinicians, ORCHA is used widely for health application evaluation and distribution.

Healthcare professionals and patients across the country are actively engaging with the ORCHA apps library to support mental wellbeing, healthy living, and long-term condition management.

Patients are being reassured that the apps library has not been created to replace any health services, but rather to complement them. Examples of apps within the library and how they can be used include:

  • An app for monitoring sleep patterns – a patient may be due to see their GP to discuss a sleeping issue and could utilise an app to monitor their sleeping patterns. The app may even record those patterns, which can then be shared with the GP during their consultation to help with diagnosis.
  • Quit smoking apps – there are plenty of helpful no smoking apps which patients can take advantage of to find the right support for yourself and others.
  • Mental health apps for young people chosen by young people to support through tough times.

Part of the NHS Innovation Accelerator Programme, ORCHA provides services to the NHS across many regions of the UK, providing app libraries and professional recommendation tools across a broad range of settings. The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) supports organisations to scale promising innovations across England’s NHS for greater patient and staff benefit.

ORCHA also runs national health app accreditation schemes to national bodies worldwide.

ORCHA’s unique review engine tests apps against 350 criteria across clinical and professional assurance, data and privacy, usability, and accessibility. It reviews around 500 apps every month, including automatic re-reviews of apps when they are updated.