Healthcare app developers are excited about the NHS Commissioning Board’s new online apps directory, which is now live.

The directory has 24 apps providing information and access to health tools for patients, varying from a healthy recipe finder by the British Heart Foundation to iBreastCheck, to an app that teaches people how to check for breast cancer.

It is currently an alpha site as the software is still being tested, but the NHS CB hopes to launch it fully early this year.

Rob Dyke, director at the Healthcare App Network for Development and Innovation, has been working with the commissioning board to develop a process for reviewing and accepting the new tools.

“I’m really impressed with it. We’ll see a number of really good rate-my-service apps and directory apps on the site.”

He added that in a meeting with several small and medium-sized enterprises last week, there was a lot of enthusiasm for the directory.

“Generally speaking the reception was great. The online tools directory for patients was enthusiastically accepted by a number of new entrants into the market.”

Dyke said that since both the NHS and the app developers are putting their brands at risk, the apps are put though a rigorous accreditation process before being added to the directory.

“One thing that came out of the meeting last week was that SME’s would be interested in paying some of the costs towards the accreditation process. Contributing a small bit of money will show how serious people are,” he explained.

Dyke hopes the new website would encourage the integration of patient records with health apps.

“It needs to be there so (patients) are able to share information back with clinicians. When we get tools to help people with their sleep problems for instance, we have got to have the opportunity for it to link back to the clinical records.”

The NHS CB is still looking for contributions for the directory. Developers who want to get involved can submit their ideas to the board online