Government introduces data-driven health plan

Doctor NHS

The government has launched its Personalised Health and Care 2020 plan, which will see doctors prescribing patients apps from the NHS's very own app store.

For example, if a patient's welfare is at risk by being overweight or smoking, their GP can give them access to health application rather than a paper prescription to help them exercise, eat more healthily or stop smoking.

Other apps could monitor sleep, heart rates or other parameters and send the information to your GP. Kitemarked apps will bear the NHS's logo, to "ensure that intuitive and compelling applications emerge and flourish, so as to engage and secure commitment", the report said.

Developed by the Department of Health, the plan will be headed up by the National Information Board (NIB) that brings together national health and care organisations from the NHS, public health, clinical science, social care and local government services into one body.

Following on from plans to digitise patient records, the government has pledged to ensure all information is available in digital format by 2020, providing real-time information to health professionals. It also said by 2018, emergency clinicians will have scrapped paper altogether and by the end of next year, standards will be developed that ensure the interoperability between departments.

The plans mean that anyone will be able to access their own patient records from next year through the use of mobile technology and other platforms too.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "I want the NHS to be a world class showcase of what innovation can achieve. Today's plan sets out how we can give patients 21st century, personalised healthcare."

The initiatives will save the government at least 20 billion by 2015 of the taxpayer's money.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.