Our latest mobile health and apps news roundup features a new payroll app that’s saving the NHS hundreds of hours, a world first virtual personal trainer that provides real-time support and exercise tips and news from GlobalData that the healthcare apps market is one to watch in 2019.

Payroll app saves NHS staff hundreds of hours

A new app that lets NHS staff view their payslips on any mobile device has helped saved around 333 hours every month by reducing the number of payroll telephone queries.

MySBSPay was launched by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) towards the end of 2018 to give NHS employees their pay information in a more convenient format, including the facility to ask common pay-related questions using Chatbot technology.

The app has been downloaded more than 40,000 times within the 90 organisations paid via the NHS SBS service.

Figures for the three months August to October 2018 – shortly after the app was introduced – show that the NHS SBS payroll service desk dealt with an average of 12,808 queries a month from NHS employees.

But between November 2018 and January 2019 the total number of cases was down significantly to an average of 9,474 per month – a 26 per cent decrease.

With an average case taking approximately six minutes to resolve, this equates to a saving of around 333 staff hours every month – the equivalent of 48 working days across the NHS.

Virtual personal trainer app is launched

Digital therapeutics company Kaia Health has launched the Kaia Personal Trainer, a full-body virtual personal trainer which tracks exercises, creates personalised fitness plans, counts reps and provides real-time audio feedback.

The app is powered by AI-powered motion tracking technology and uses just a smartphone.

It’s been developed with physiotherapists and fitness experts and offers a customised full-body workout featuring a variety of exercises.

To activate Kaia Personal Trainer, users stand seven feet away from their smartphone camera and begin exercising with video instructions.

The app tracks physical activity with a 16-point system that compares the metrics of actual movement against ideal movement, including the relative positions of limbs and joints, and the angles between them.

Kaia Personal Trainer counts the number of reps and provides users with instant, personalised real-time audio feedback, advice and encouragement to improve fitness and performance.

It covers all relevant body parts and muscle groups, including the lower back, core, glutes and hamstrings, and adjusts the difficulty level and exercise based on the user’s feedback.

Its available on smartphones and tablets and can be downloaded on the Apple App Store. It will be released for Android in the second quarter of 2019.

Emotional fitness app launched in UK universities

A new emotional fitness app called Fika has been launched in UK universities to help address loneliness and anxiety among students.

Fika is in closed trial partnerships with a number of leading universities across the UK, including the Universities of Coventry, Exeter, Lincoln and Manchester Metropolitan, to provide a scalable service to help students build resilience, improve performance, develop soft career skills and reduce loneliness and isolation.

The next phase of Fika’s development will see them undertake academic research and longitudinal studies with partner Universities and more than 1500 students, with the aim of building a body of primary empirical evidence to support the benefits of proactive emotional exercise.

Fika provides five minute emotional exercises based on techniques which combine the science of positive psychology, acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, sports psychology and mindfulness.

GlobalData names healthcare app market “one to watch” in 2019

The healthcare app market is one that investors and innovators should watch closely in 2019, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The utility of these apps ranges from clinical decision support to at-home health management.

The purposes of the apps are also incredibly diverse. For example, some apps aim to provide in-hospital clinical support, while other apps aim to provide healthcare services to developing countries that lack medical devices for proper patient care.

Apps such as the CardioSmart Heart Explorer App have proven to be effective in clinical decision support assistance and risk factor modification in patients with symptoms of angina.

While apps such as the ‘My Studies App’ provide healthcare regulatory decision makers with access to real-world patient data.

Hanuel Park, medical devices analyst at GlobalData, said: “The continuous innovations toward apps that provide medical device-like features are major drivers of the rise of the healthcare app market.

“Apps that can provide routine healthcare services, in conjunction with an online physician, to regions of the world that lack healthcare facilities are going to push the market forward. Apps will provide medical services anywhere in the world with Wi-Fi.”