7 comments

  1. Anna Wilde

    With only 27% of UK adults owning a smart phone, and therefore having access to these apps, and that 27% are most likely the most affluent of our society, doesn't anyone think it's a unethical for the NHS to develop and use apps which exclude almost three quarters of it's adult customers? And most likely excluding the poorest in our society; widening the gap of health and equality between the rich and poor.

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    • Stephen Hale

      Anna - thanks for your comment. It's an important point and I take it very seriously. 27% is not everyone as you say, but it is a lot of people, and fast growing. But also, I don't see our work on digital innovation as being at the exclusion of work on inclusion. Smartphone apps will not replace other more traditional methods of communication or face to face contact. But technology makes things possible that weren't possible before, and that's really what we're exploring here.

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  2. John Fox

    An app for reminding the device owner to take medication would be a useful development. There are a few such apps available in the iTunes App Store but they're normally pretty basic affairs; they've been developed for a US market and so the terminology differs to terms we're more familiar with in the UK. I've yet to find an app that is clever enough to remind the owner to take different combinations of tablets at different times of the day for example.

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  3. Phil Topham

    Hello Stephen.  Although I have used word, email and the internet for years, I don't use social networking sites, twitter or blog (usually).  I do have something to say about apps but I would first like to note that I have not been able to find an email address or link for you on this page.  I may be pathetically inadequate but it always seems that web pages are devised by people who know how to use them whereas the rest of us have to just get sweaty and embarrassed trying to work them out.   In my experience, the excess of information that is on the internet tends to be reflected in the undue complexity of web pages.  I think this is an important engagement issue, especially where we are talking about mental health apps:  people who are anxious or depressed, even moderately so, have marked problems with attention and concentration and can feel overwhelmed with lots of information.  I 'm quite happy and I feel overwhelmed sometimes!  So that's my starter.  Perhaps I shall find out in a minute whether this has gone anywhere and I shall then continue to talk about apps.  Best wishes.

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    • Phil.Topham

      Looks like I'm replying to myself though I have now, thanks to Stephen, found the actual apps site. I appreciate the value of the voting and comments on that site and I was hoping that this blog focused more on what underlying principles might guide us in thinking about and developing apps - something that I think someone else has mentioned. My interest is in self-help for mental health concerns, particularly anxiety and depression, so it would be discussion about engaging users in self-help processes via apps and what we need to consider - clinical, ethical, relational....etc.. So if anyone's interested in that conversation do pipe up.

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  4. Dennis Shields

    At first glance one would tend to agree with Anna Wilde's comment about the so called 'underclass'. But isn't it also true one might ague that a number of these are the first to have: a satellite dish, large plasma screen, smoke, drink and must have the very latest mobile at the detriment of their well being? These are the kind of people we need to reach and they have the latest technology.

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  5. Anne Al-Hassani

    I think it is a good idea and need to encourage patients to have the apps on the Smartphone to monitor patients health.
    I have a Smartphone and I am using these apps for years (iBP=blood pressure and iCholesterol=cholesterol) .
    I can take my blood pressure at home without the stress of going to the surgery and wait for long time but we have to make sure the patients who would like to use these apps must not taken advantage of.

    I was watching the Sky news and GP introduce an app which will cost over £100 for a year.

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