Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust has partnered with ORCHA to launch a new health and wellbeing app library for patients.

The library allows users to search and compare health-focused apps for free and is supported by the Organisation for the Review of Health and Care Applications (ORCHA)’s independent reviews to help people find the right app to help support their health goals. In addition the library will enable staff at the trust to recommend apps to patients with confidence.

Apps have long-been recognised as a useful tool to help people in managing health conditions or supporting their general wellbeing. However, there are hundreds of thousands of apps that claim to support health – making it hard for users to identify those that can live up to their claims.

ORCHA has a team of people which includes actively practicing clinicians, whose role it is to independently review and accredit health apps against stringent criteria. This team assess apps and give each a percentage review score, ranking it against key ORCHA criteria, including: clinical/professional assurance; data and privacy; and usability and accessibility.

The health app library, commissioned by Central and North West London, includes the top rated apps for a range of topics including mental health, women’s health and neurodiversity, as well as condition-specific apps, such as those for diabetes, Covid and eating disorders. Patients within the trust’s region will be able to access the digital library to find tools that can help with their health and wellbeing.

Additionally it will give staff working at Central and North West London the confidence to recommend apps that could make a difference to patients’ lives. The process is as simple as sending a text message or email link to the relevant app, if agreed in advance with the patient.

ORCHA reported in October 2021, that the demand for digital health products rose significantly during the pandemic and interest has remained strong post-lockdown, so the new digital library should be well received by Central and North West London patients.