Apps Policy

Aim: To use the latest innovations in smartphone technology to help patients find and use apps to manage conditions and make better lifestyle choices in a way that is convenient for them.

The surgery is an integral part of the health care system and view the use of apps as a complimentary means of promoting patient self-help and support through digital tools. We want to encourage the patient to take an active role in managing their healthcare condition. We do not aim to use apps to replace the role of a qualified medical practitioner, nor to remove monitoring of chronic conditions from within the surgery setting. We do recognise that in the passage of time we may be able to directly use the information and data collected and stored by our patients through apps as part of their ongoing health plan.

Approved Apps
There are European regulations about medical apps and the assurance that an app meets essential criteria, we will endeavour to include only medical apps, including web apps which bear the CE mark. We will include on our website NHS Digital Apps showcased on the NHS Public Health Site as NHS approved or ‘being tested in the NHS.

The surgery (surgeries in cluster for voting purposes) will remain objective, impartial and even-handed in selection of apps listed in the app library. The surgery will make any such selection based on merit alone and will not directly benefit financially from apps for which a fee is charged. Any financial arrangement for use of apps is an agreement made between the patient and supplier and the surgery will not seek to influence any such decision for financial gain.

A medical app is one that diagnoses, supports diagnosis or clinical decisions, makes calculations to determine diagnosis or treatment, or are used for any medical purpose that are classed as ‘medical devices’. A medical app does not need to link to the patient’s records or capture the patient’s name or NHS number; if it uses patient specific information, it is a medical app and it needs a CE mark.

What is NOT a medical app?
Apps that have only administrative functions, eg to book an appointment or request a prescription. Apps that give general guidance or are not marketed as medical apps, such as generic calculators on mobile phone apps that do not provide personalised advice.

Consultation & Planning
The addition of new apps to the website will be by majority decision and will meet the criteria for medical apps as stated above. Review of website apps will take place three monthly, removal of apps will be by majority decision – except in exceptional  circumstances where content, information or advice is known to be incorrect, damaging and controversial or may be used for extortion.

Reporting issues or problems with apps
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are the body to report any known problem with apps used for medical purposes (such as calculation errors) and should be reported to MHRA online at www.mhra.gov.uk.

Disclaimer
The surgery or the approving body is not the owner, manager or supplier of the tools/apps listed on the website. The surgery or the approving body has set standards for reviewing the tools/apps as detailed in this policy, but this does not mean that we or the approving body has itself reviewed all aspects of the tool/app, or version of the same tool/app. The named supplier listed is the entity solely responsible for the tool/app. The surgery or the approving body is not responsible or liable for any advice, or any other information, services or products that you obtain through the use of the tool/apps listed our website.

The Digital Apps on this website are intended to provide supportive relevant information only. They do not provide medical advice and is not a substitute for a medical consultation. For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way. If you have an urgent medical need you should call 111. If a life is at risk, call 999.

Policy Created: 14.11.2017
For Review: 13.11.2018