Link Workers set to prescribe apps through groundbreaking partnership between Elemental and Orcha
Mobile apps are set to become a vital part of personalised healthcare thanks to a unique new partnership between tech for good company, Elemental, and the world’s leading health app evaluation and advisor organisation, Orcha.
The partnership will see Link Workers (non-clinical social practitioners) and healthcare professionals in Salford, Knowsley and West Lancashire prescribing people mobile apps focussed on a range of support to tackle health and wellbeing issues including:
- Healthy eating
- Social Support – Social Isolation
- Mental Health – Depression and Anxiety
- Physical Health – Physical Activity
FURTHER ENHANCING the power of digital social prescribing
The project will further expand the capabilities of Elemental’s award-winning digital social prescribing platform, enabling customers to co-create more person-centric social prescribing plans for their patients that will include referrals to mobile health apps as well as face-to-face activities and interventions. The aim is to create:
- A new, more integrated approach to social prescribing that enables healthcare staff to deliver a more targeted and efficient experience to support patient health and wellbeing
- Create a wider and more diverse directory of online and offline assets and services
- More empowered communities with access to real-time digital support via specific mobile apps suited to their needs, where and when they need it
- The ability to track, measure and report on the uptake and impacts of mobile health apps as part of a social prescribing plan
THE DEMAND FOR REAL-TIME AND MORE PERSONALISED SUPPORT
Jennifer Neff, Elemental Co-Founder and Co-CEO, said: “There’s so much research out there to back-up the fact that the use of smartphones and mobile apps for healthcare purposes is a growing trend and the benefits of mobile health are huge for both patients and healthcare professionals, especially when we focus on self-care and empowering personalised care plans.”
“We’ve recently seen more of a demand from our network of over 450 Link Workers to offer an even more personalised service to the communities they serve. Orcha are passionate about quality apps that deliver the biggest impact in terms of improving outcomes and increasing self-management of conditions, and that’s aligned tightly to our quality expectations for all activities and interventions that our customers refer into, both offline and online. We’re so excited to see the outcomes of this partnership and be able to report on the affect this is having on our customers’ communities.”
Ensuring the prescription of quality assured apps
According to IQVIA, the number of mobile health apps available in the market has increased substantially over the last few years, with over 318,000 health apps available on the top app stores worldwide, nearly double the number of apps available in 2015 – with more than 200 apps being added each day.
Whilst this means that there’s plenty of choice for healthcare professionals and link workers with regard to their mobile app asset bank, the apps that patients are referred to need to be of a high standard, quality assured and approved by Orcha based on their functionality, ease of use, accessibility, outcomes and ability to increase uptake and condition self-management or prevention.
Liz Ashall-Payne, ORCHA CEO and Co-Founder, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Elemental to allow Link Workers and healthcare professionals to prescribe mobile health apps for a variety of health needs. Given that app stores are largely unregulated, ORCHA’s Solution breaks through the noise by addressing the importance of awareness, access, trust and governance of digital health apps. Our partnership with Elemental will increase the reach of trusted digital health for patients across Salford, Knowsley and West Lancashire; we are looking forward to seeing the impact this has on the self-management of physical and mental health issues.”
ORCHA, The Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications, is the trusted source for health app advice. By increasing access to clinically effective health apps, ORCHA empowers health professionals, organisations and app developers to embrace digital health.
Our work with CCGs and NHS Trusts enables populations to actively utilise digital health, as well as arming healthcare professionals with an app prescription tool. We have reviewed over 5,600 health apps in terms of data privacy, clinical assurance and user-experience. ORCHA also helps app developers by reviewing, rating and marketing their products, and advising on the nuances of app regulation.
Elemental is a tech for good company led by former community development workers. They help organisations all around the world to enhance the impact of their social prescribing programmes via our award-winning portfolio of digital social prescribing products and consultancy services.
As the leading digital social prescribing software provider in the UK, Elemental are bridging the gap between health, housing and the community with a range of digital solutions designed to support the strategy and practice of self care and independence.