Hospify has become the first clinical messaging app to be made available on the NHS Apps Library.

The app, which provides an NHS-compliant platform for sending and receiving messages and can be used by clinicians to share patient information, is now approved for use by professionals and patient across the NHS.

Hospify said it had taken more than a year for the app to pass through “rigorous” testing and assessment processes by various NHS organisations and regulatory bodies.

Company CEO, James Flint, said: “We’re delighted that NHS Digital has seen fit to publish Hospify in the official NHS Apps Library, signalling that it is appropriate for us right across the health and care system.

“We’re also incredibly proud that Hospify is the first – and so far, the only – general-purpose messaging app to be given this stamp of approval for use by both medical staff and patients.”

Surveys undertaken by Hospify suggest that more than 500,000 NHS staff currently use non-compliant consumer apps to communicate patient-related information while at work.

An FOI request sent by the company to 152 NHS trusts in 2018 revealed that nearly two-thirds of NHS trusts in England did not have a policy in place regarding the use of instant messaging apps.

Hospify offers similar functionality to popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, but includes additional security features to make it a secure platform for sharing patient information.

It also features built-in password functionality, masks personal details such as email and phone numbers. and doesn’t collect background data that could be used for marketing purposes, according to Hospify.

A premium version of the app is also available called Hospify Hub, which offers additional features such as an online admin portal and broadcast messaging functionality.

Company chief technology officer, Neville Dastur, said: “With Hospify, any health professional or patient can now be confident that they can communicate safely and quickly with colleagues and peers with all the ease and efficiency of the best consumer messaging apps, but without any compromise to their data or privacy.”

Hospify is believed to be in use by some 100 hospitals and other clinical sites across the country, including a number of NHS trusts.

Lincolnshire Community NHS Trust, Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and South Tyneside NHS Trust have signed off the app for use by their employees.