November’s mobile health and apps round up features news that NHS London Procurement Partnership has invited tenders for health and social care apps and the launch of an app to support people affected by cancer.

NHS London Procurement Partnership invites tenders for health and social care apps

The NHS London Procurement Partnership (NHS LPP) is inviting suppliers to submit their apps for inclusion in their Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), which will attempt to enable a streamlined and compliant route to market.

All apps that apply will undergo an assessment by the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA) and this will inform the selection decision made by NHS LPP.

NHS LPP develops and manages collaborative procurement projects on behalf of its members, including NHS clinical commissioning groups and acute, community, mental health and ambulance trusts.

Digital type 2 diabetes remission programme launched

The UK’s first real-world trial of a digital type 2 diabetes remission programme has been launched.

The University of Westminster has partnered with NHS South West London Health & Care Partnership and technology-enabled dietetic services provider Oviva for the project, which will involve 300 people with type 2 diabetes across NHS GP practices in South West London and Buckinghamshire.

The programme is a remote service, providing regular one-to-one support from a diabetes specialist dietitian and nurse via telephone and the NHS Digital-approved Oviva app.

The app provides users with instant support and allows them to monitor their diet and goals, while receiving personalised feedback. Patients will also receive an electronic weight scale and activity tracker that connects to the app to support their weight loss.

Professor Jimmy Bell, who is part of the University of Westminster Health and Wellbeing team, said: “With this programme, industry and academia are aiming to tackle the problem of Type 2 Diabetes through the implementation of a digital behaviour change programme in a real-world situation.

“This is a unique opportunity which will lead not only to significant positive health impacts on the participants, but eventually the UK community as a whole.”

Study suggests nature app could improve mental health

An app that encourages people to record nature could be good for mental health, a study has suggested.

The study, conducted by the University of Derby and the University of Sheffield, prompted users to record the ‘good things’ in nature in urban areas, such as trees, flowers and birds.

The findings showed there was a clinically significant and positive effect on wellbeing, not just at the end of the seven-day period, but one month later when a follow-up assessment was carried out.

Kirsten McEwan, senior researcher at the University of Derby, said: “Adults spend, on average, less than eight per cent of their time outside, so to see the positive impact it had on those who spend little time outdoors suggests that there is a need for engagement with nature in everyday life.

“Just noticing simple things in nature, such as trees, skies, flowers, birds and wildlife, can have a beneficial impact.”

Holistic app co-created with patients launches to support those affected by cancer

A holistic app co-created with patients has been launched to support those affected by cancer.

Natia is the first app to incorporate the “holistic programmes” of yoga, meditation, music and conversation to provide individuals affected by cancer with support along the whole care pathway – emotionally and physically.

The app is supported by the UK cancer charity, Maggie’s Centres, who assisted with its development, alongside cancer patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

Natia is also collaborating with the Medway NHS Foundation Trust and is currently undertaking a joint feasibility study, with the view to launching a full NHS-run pilot.

Sue Green, Macmillan recovery package facilitator at the trust, said: “From the first we heard of the Natia app, we saw it had the potential to significantly help our cancer patients.

“Following the feasibility study, if successful, we will work jointly with Natia to initiate a pilot study looking at the impact of the digital therapeutic delivery of the holistic interventions within the Natia app for our cancer patients.”