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Doctors to prescribe health apps to patients

Doctors to prescribe health apps to patients

UK family doctors will soon be prescribing patients smartphone apps to improve their wellbeing.

Doctors to prescribe health apps to patients

It’s not only cold hard drugs that doctors are prescribing these days. The new UK government strategy, which we hope to see locally soon too, welcomes certain approved applications that are certified by the NHS (National Health Service) so they are free of charge to patients.

One example of an “app diagnosis” is an overweight patient who might be recommended an app that tracks their diet and fitness levels, providing tips, recipes and coaching along the way. A diabetic might be prescribed a carb counting app or one that reminds them to check their blood sugar levels, while those with hypertension could be prescribed with an app that reminds them daily to check their blood pressure.

Currently, apps that are used as part of the health service include GP appointment trackers and a system that gives parents access to their children’s immunisation record. A free Quit Smoking app is also in use, providing daily tips and support messages plus a real-life counter which shows the number of minutes, hours and days a person has been smoke-free and how much money they have saved.

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