A social prescribing tool designed to help people keep active and healthy has joined an AHSN-run accelerator scheme, with the aim of eventually being brought into the NHS.

Signum Health’s i-navigator platform supports people in need of non-clinical care, such as weight loss, anxiety and depression, loneliness and social isolation.

The app signposts health, wellbeing and lifestyle services from accredited providers in the local community and allows allows GPs and other healthcare professionals to refer patients to non-clinical services across the private, public and third sector.

Wales-based Signum Health was selected as one of five companies to join the Digital Health Accelerator (DHA) South West, which was launched by the Academic South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN) in September.

The start-up will be supported by the Network to bring i-navigator and its diagnostic tool into the NHS.

Company CEO Victoria Norman said: “Signum Health’s core goal is to enable patients, pharmacies, GPs and other alternative healthcare services, to work more efficiently by sharing health information in a way that benefits everyone.

“To have been accepted on such a prestigious accelerator programme is amazing for us. For the next year we will be mentored by key people within the NHS, introduced to innovators within the health sector and fully supported to grow and expand i-Navigator.”

Social prescribing is based on the concept that, by pointing individuals towards wellbeing and lifestyle services in the community, they remain active and become less susceptible to physical, mental or social health issues.

As a result, individuals stop becoming patients seeking GP appointments, freeing up more time for clinicians.

The i-navigator platform can be integrated with the EMIS and TPP SystmOne clinical systems so that patient progress is fed back into their medical record.

Signum Health also offers a diagnostic platform that helps GPs with remote assessment, triage and diagnosis of a wide range of symptoms – saving time and money on appointments.

Norman suggested there was an “increasing understanding of the social impact on health and a better understanding of the advantage of alternative health and digital solutions.”

“Social prescribing is key to the future of the NHS, as well as Signum Health’s other core product which offers remote online clinical diagnosis rather than by a face to face consultation, and we are proud to be working with the digital accelerator to make our vision for Signum Health come to life.”

Margot James, Minister of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport , added: “South Wales is a hotbed of innovative companies and through our modern Industrial Strategy we’re helping to turn the region into one of the UK’s thriving areas for tech.

“It’s great to see Signum Health join the growing number of businesses on the accelerator programme, bringing the latest health technology to the market as soon as possible.”