An NHS stamp of approval is the most important factor for clinicians when recommending digital health solutions, new research has found.

App evaluation company ORCHA delved into what is most required by healthcare professional to prescribe digital health solutions.

It comes as experts fear patient’s use of digital tools, which skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic, could stall or even reverse as lockdown restrictions are eased, the organization said.

The team found an NHS badge for digital health and apps was “overwhelmingly” the most important factor for take-up, followed by peer opinion and personal use of the technology.

Despite published studies often being called for as evidence to support technology, respondents did not deem them to be as important.

The research found it would take five published studies to be as convincing as one NHS stamp of approval, and two published studies to be as convincing as a peer recommendation of an app.

Simon Leigh, health economist at ORCHA, said: “Now is a critical time for digital health. Adoption has rocketed during Covid-19, but as the requirement for remote consultations fades, so too may the industry’s take-up of digital health.

“This research reveals the underlying attitudes and wants from healthcare professionals. It’s important for providers to consider these needs, if the NHS is to achieve its long-term digital transformation ambitions.”

Just 8% of the 230 clinicians who responded said they were reluctant to prescribe digital health solutions.

ORCHA chief executive Liz Ashall-Payne has previously called for digital training to be “embedded” into clinical curricula instead of being “bolted on”.

She warned a “knowledge gap” could form between current a future staff if a greater focus on appropriate digital training wasn’t considered.

The latest research findings suggest a majority of clinicians are willing to prescribe digital services but give organisations “clear routes to target education programmes”, the company said.