This month’s round up of news from the world of healthcare apps and mobile developments kicks off with the widely-covered Health4Life sugar cubes calculator and also includes news of a mental health version of Babylon and another activity tracker getting into the health app business.

New apps

Public Health England launches ‘sugar smart’ app

Public Health England has launched a ‘sugar smart’ app as part of a Change4Life advertising campaign to encourage parents to cut down the amount of sugar in children’s diets. The app enables parents to scan barcodes to reveal the total sugar in branded products in cubes or grams, while the campaign is pinned on research suggesting that the average child aged four to ten is consuming 22kg of added sugar per year – the weight of an average five year old.  

CCG launches health service finder app

East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group has developed an app to help people find local health services. The NHS Now app knows where the user is each and when they use it, and can tailor information accordingly. Users can access a range of self-care advice or be pointed to the most appropriate local health service that is open, including pharmacies, GP practices, dentist, urgent care centres and A&E.

App helps doctors in refugee camps

Doctors in refugee camps across Europe and the Middle East are using a free health information sharing app to support their work. The MedShr app, founded by Dr Asif Qasim, allows users to upload, share and discuss medical images on a closed professional network. It is being used in the field to bring together doctors from organisations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres and the Red Cross.

Watson-powered pregnancy app

IBM’s supercomputer Watson is powering a new app to support women during pregnancy. The Nutrino app, available for Apple and Android products, provides individualised nutritional information to pregnant women, including meal recommendations. It does this by combining a nutrition database, Watson’s natural language capabilities, and data inputted by users on the stage of their pregnancy, health goals, eating habits and food preferences.

Mobile working

Royal Free using iPad Pro with Medopad

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust has deployed iPad Pro devices to its staff pre-installed with Medopad’s patient data software. Clinicians at the trust can now use the tablets, which are larger than standard iPads, to access medical data, vitals, charts and patient imagery in Medopad. They can also use the iPad Pro’s Split View for side-by-side data comparisons with Medopad and other applications.

New services

Babylon launches mental health services

Mobile consultation firm Babylon has expanded its business with the launch of Babylon Therapy, a new service for people with mental health conditions to connect with therapists via their phone. Therapy sessions last 50 minutes and records from the consultations are stored securely. The service adds to Babylon’s existing remote GP consultation business, where people can arrange video meetings with a GP for a subscription fee.

Pebble launches health app

Smartwatch developer Pebble has launched a health app so that users can track their daily activity and how well they sleep. Pebble Health is developed in collaboration with Stanford University and links and is available on Android and Apple devices. It is also compatible with Google Fit and Apple HealthKit.


‘Dementia Diaries’ to be evaluated

A team at Leeds Beckett University is to evaluate the ‘Dementia Diaries’ project, which collects audio recordings of people living with dementia discussing their day-to-day life. The aim is to serve as a public record of what it’s like to live with dementia to improve wider understanding of the condition and how the public can provide support. Leeds Beckett’s evaluation complements internal assessment of the project and will identify ways to make improvements.