Smartphone apps now to be prescribed by GPs

Previously reported the new generation of smartphone apps that are being developed to combat depression . It has now been revealed that GP’s are being encouraged to prescribe such apps, by the Department of Health, in a bid to see the general population taking control of their own health and wellbeing .

Normally apps that would cost anything up to seven or eight pounds are potentially being prescribed by doctors and given away for free. Apps approved by the initiative include those that record blood sugar levels of diabetic patients, monitor blood pressure in people diagnosed with hypertension or blood pressure related illnesses.

One app that is currently being trialled by doctors, hospitals and community nurses is known as ‘Patients Know Best’. This app gives patients access to their records and decides who has access to them. Additionally patients can use the app to have online consultations with any member of the clinical team, to develop personalised self-care plans. Finally the app can send and explain results of tests that the patient has undergone.

As a website that encourages self-empowerment and taking control of one’s own well being, this government initiative is enthusiastically received, providing it will not come at the detriment of face to face care when this is required.

There are numerous apps that aid wellbeing and stress relief by using sound meditation and mindfulness breath exercises. Giving GP’s the power to prescribe smartphone apps; there may be scope to start encouraging healing and health via these safer, more time consuming methods that GP’s simply do not have the time to prescribe in 10 minute appointments.

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