Mon 3rd Jun, 2019

‘All-singing and all-dancing’ NHS App scrapped

We broadly welcome the recent blog post from the new incoming Chief Executive at NHSX, Matthew Gould which has received some publicity in the trade press.

Mr Gould said: “I don’t want us to make the NHS App all-singing and all-dancing. In fact, I’m not sure I want to add many more features than it already has.” This means that it will offer a thin skin and keep only the most basic functions that it has right now.

For developers of technology like iPlato, with 24m users in England, and the developer of the number 1 medical app, myGP, this means we can concentrate on partnering with the NHS to build technology with the NHS.

Responding to Mr Gould’s 3 principles:

  1. Data preferences should be set through the NHS’s own app, rather than an alternative
    This is already done with myGP by providing a link through our app to the secure NHS database. It’s more a question of how data is stored safely rather than how data is entered;
  2. Looking at how both booking and screening can be underpinned by single approaches rather than a myriad of separate ones
    We already provide these services to all citizens in London and see no technical barriers to connecting all of England with one system. We have peer reviewed evidence of the improvements that can be achieved and want to work with Prof Sir Mike Richards in delivering this;
  3. The new GP contract will require GPs to make at least 25% of their appointments available online
    We already work with practices on myGP to set up their calendars in such a way that we make skill-based appointments visible and bookable to myGP users with all clinical staff. We also offer ‘speedy-boarding’ through offering alternative appointments as they become available, eg earlier nurse appointments, telephone or video consultations.

As Mr Gould said, ‘I’ve been blown away by the digital innovations and all the British healthtech start-ups who have told me about amazing products they’ve developed. We need the NHS’s staff and patients to benefit from this talent and we need this talent to see the NHS as a brilliant market for their innovation’

Now, if the door is opened, we can collaborate to deliver citizens the access to healthcare that they need and use technology to deliver this at a cost we can all bear.