Babylon and two other medical apps have been removed from the NHS Apps Library, with NHS England citing beta testing as the reason behind it.

The library is currently in a test version, with NHS England hoping to have it nationally available by the end of 2018.

However some apps featured in the library, which aims to steer patients towards trusted digital tools, have been dropped following the beta testing phase.

Juliet Bauer, chief digital officer at NHS England, said: “The NHS Apps Library is in beta or a public testing phase, and will continue to evolve accordingly as with any other project in development.”

Private online GP services app, Babylon, is among those which has been cut.

A spokesman for the company said: “Babylon supports the aims of the NHS digital apps library.

“Following a recent NHS assessment process, our app was in the very first group to appear in the Library.

“As the focus of the NHS Digital Apps Library changes over time, so the mix of apps that appears on it will evolve as well.

“Unlike companies who choose only to provide their health service privately to those who can afford it, Babylon’s technology and GPs are available through the NHS to all – free at the point-of-need, via GP at Hand and NHS Online.

“In providing a safe, high quality, convenient and tech-enabled service to people who choose us, Babylon helps reduce the pressures on hard-pressed NHS staff.”

Another app dropped was Now GP from the Now Healthcare Group (NHG).

Lee Dentith, CEO and NHG founder, said: “We understand the reasons why we have had to be removed, but we expect our app Now Patient (which has been created to help up to 15 million people living with chronic care conditions) to be in the Apple App Store in the coming weeks.”

The removal of these services has been welcomed by the British Medical Association’s GP committee chair, Dr Richard Vautrey.

“NHS England has done the right thing by removing these apps from their library. It’s important that the public and patients can be confident that NHS-recommended services are just that – NHS services,” he said.

“There has been a rapid expansion of digital services in recent months and it’s going to be increasingly important for national bodies to monitor and assess them.”

Another app to disappeared is Public Health England’s Sugar Smart, however Digital Health News understands the app has been renamed the ‘Food Scanner App’ and remains in the library.