An app designed to help improve sleep and overcome insomnia is to be rolled out across London.
Sleepio is a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) based programme which can be accessed via smartphone or web.
It works by helping people to resolve their persistent sleep problems by discovering their ideal personal sleep pattern.
The app is now available free on the NHS in the capital after the Good Thinking service, which aims to improve the mental health of Londoners, selected Sleepio as a partner.
The Good Thinking service is an organisation commissioned by all 32 London based NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, a majority of London Borough Local Authorities, and is supported by Public Health England, NHS England and the Mayor of London.
NHS England London Medical Director Dr Vin Diwakar said: “Digital technology gives us a real opportunity to place the tools many people could benefit from to improve their own wellbeing day to day in their pockets and in their own homes.
“Clinically proven digital treatments such as Sleepio being offered on the NHS in London via Good Thinking is a great example of the sorts of things we need to see in a modern NHS that places the patient needs at the heart of everything we do, ensuring we design the service around what is appropriate for patients, and efficient for the NHS.”
The complete roll out across London follows early ‘beta’ trials of the service among staff at key London employers including Imperial College London, UCL, Kings College Hospital NHS Trust and Guys & St Thomas NHS Trust.
Speaking to Digital Health News, Sleepio’s co-founder, Peter Hames, said his experience with the scheme had been positive.
He said: “The NHS is a very large organisation and has a huge amount of responsibility but it is really innovative.
“There are those working in the NHS who are keen to see change”.
Examples of this, according to Hames, includes the launch of the NHS App.
Though Hames calls the app “a big project”, it shows the health service is willing to “take risks” for innovation.
He added: “I think once its rolled out completely, the NHS App will change the NHS exponentially”.