The CEO of NHSX has suggested no more features should be added to the NHS App and instead innovators should be encouraged to build on top of it.
In a blog post published Friday afternoon, Matthew Gould, said he was impressed by the “excellent work” which has been done on the free app, saying teams from NHSX, NHS Digital and Kainos have created “something really good”.
However he then appears to suggest that he does not want to over-complicate the technology.
He said: “I don’t want us to make the NHS App all-singing and all-dancing.
“In fact, I’m not sure we should add many more features than it already has.
“We will keep the app thin and let others use the platform that we have created to come up with brilliant features on top.”
Instead Gould says he wants to create a platform allowing “other people innovate on top of it” in order to speed up the process.
Gould adds: “This approach will harness the extraordinary talent and creativity that exists both in the NHS and in the healthtech sector.
“Before I’ve even started the job, I’ve been blown away by the many clinicians I’ve met who have come up with their own digital innovations and all the British healthtech start-ups who have told me about amazing products they’ve developed.”
The NHS App, branded the “digital front door” to the NHS, is currently being rolled out across England.
The free app can be used to make GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions, help manage long-term conditions and access 111 online.
Patients can also use the app to state their preferences relating to data-sharing, organ donation and end-of-life care.
Gould was confirmed as the CEO of NHSX in April 2019 and will oversee the new unit which will be in charge of digital transformation across the NHS.
He priorities in his new role are to reduce the burden on clinicians, to put services and information into the hands of citizens, and to ensure that clinicians can safely access patient data.
The former director-general for digital and media policy is also due to be a keynote speaker at this year’s Digital Health Summer Schools 2019 in July.
Lee Va Comment
4 June 2019 @ 11:02
Have a look at the spend for 18/19 https://digital.nhs.uk/about-nhs-digital/corporate-information-and-documents/publication-scheme/nhs-digital-spend-information – narrow the sheet to Kainos and it looks like just under 9.4 million plus whatever you account for on internal staff, marketing etc – value for money?
3 June 2019 @ 15:14
The positioning here by NHSx appears to be a standards and platform driven organisation. Ergo, create the platform and mandate the standards and you can come and play in our eco system. You can bet somewhere down the line budget was a factor in this decision but it is most welcome. Deploy good and make it great. Bravo.
3 June 2019 @ 11:54
Ok the tool is not perfect, we all know this, however for what it is, its good. Far easier than trying to log on to patient online etc. Repeats and appointment simple as. As to Harry’s point I assume he’s referring to video consultation. Currently video consultation is taking time to take off, a cautious attitude from both GP & Patients, I see it everyday in my work trying to encourage new tech in primary care. However I agree with MR Gould, as someone who works for the NHS I can see the benefit from a governance stance to keep development in house, but this will stifle development. The current approach of governance by framework seems a good compromise. If a practice has the capability to video consult, then maybe the ability to book a video consultation via the app would be of benefit. This however will require development with current providers outside the NHS, which we all know could be very costly and convoluted and not such a good use of tax payers money.
3 June 2019 @ 11:18
Did anyone consult real patients about enrolling on this app? For many patients, actually downloading an app is challenging. To expect them to produce a driving licence or passport, photograph it, and then take a video of themselves while speaking several words suggests inevitable inequality being introduced between those who are competent with technology and those who are not. Also, with care navigation being the norm when making appointments these days, it wouldn’t seem beyond the wit of those devising the app to introduce some form of selection questions to determine if a patient needs to see a GP, nurse, pharmacist, physio – or no-one at all. Otherwise it will just make GP resources more inefficient by inappropriate appointments being made with GPs.
3 June 2019 @ 09:13
As a tax-payer, I’d like to see an independent review of the commissioning and funding of this shambles.
3 June 2019 @ 08:41
The step back from previous ambitions to make the NHS App do everything is welcome. It would have put a brake on innovation. But already major flaws in the thinking behind it are apparent. By prioritising the booking of appointments (backed up by a contractual requirement on GPs to make 25% avaiable online) it will wasted GP time (only 1/3 of patients need a face to face) and increase inequality of access to those less digitally savvy – often the most needy. Different thinking urgently needed Mr Gould.
31 May 2019 @ 20:58
i.e. Take it out the back of the shed.
Try not to make too much mess.