Derbyshire County Council has partnered with ORCHA as is looks to embed the use of health apps and online tools across its services.

The programme of work will provide citizens with access to a wide range of quality-checked apps to help them manage their health and wellbeing.

The council and ORCHA, the health app evaluation company, will develop a library of approved apps, which will become part of the council’s healthy lifestyles service Live Life Better Derbyshire.

Dean Wallace, the council’s director of public health, said: “Derbyshire has always been proactive when it comes to public health and we see huge benefits coming from health apps.

“While Derbyshire County Council commissions a diverse range of accessible public health services, digital health apps can provide information and support when traditional support services may not be available.

“Lockdown could prove detrimental to some people’s health. Especially people who may have problems with drinking or smoking. Being able to recommend an app if they are unwilling, or unable, to use our services could offer significant benefits to their health and wellbeing.

“We are taking it slowly but we want digital health to become another health and wellbeing tool, and to help normalise its use for people.”

The county council has also bought 100 ORCHA pro accounts for staff members which allows them to directly recommend health apps to citizens through email or text.

Liz Ashall-Payne, chief executive of ORCHA, added: “There are lots of apps and online tools that promise to help with your health and wellbeing however it can be difficult to know which ones to trust when you are browsing through Google Play or Apple app stores.

“The app library we have built with the Derbyshire team will open up the widest possible range of top-quality tools, each of which has been rigorously reviewed against 350 tough standards, including elements of the NICE [National Institute for Health and Care Excellence] framework.

“It’s fantastic to be working with the forward-thinking Derbyshire team and we’ll be there to support with their ambitious plans every step of the way.”

Live Life Better Derbyshire offers services including stop smoking, weight management and physical activity support.