How digital apps can help with self-managing health and wellbeing

With people around the country being asked to practice social distancing and self-isolation, digital health apps and services have never been more important. This is especially true for those who are most at risk from COVID-19 – the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

ORCHA, a techUK member, works to enable the uptake and adoption of digital health and care apps, primarily by reviewing and assessing health and care apps, as well as working with local communities to encourage the adoption of safe digital health. This ranges from working in education and helping students engage with pastoral care staff, to working with charities and employers to ensure employees are performing the necessary self-care. ORCHA provides services to the NHS in 50% of regions in the UK, curating App Libraries and professional recommendation tools across a broad range of settings, enabling health and care professionals to embed digital health into their practice and care pathways. ORCHA’s unique review engine assesses apps against 260 elements across Clinical Assurance, Data Privacy and User Experience, plus additional criteria depending on needs. Ultimately, ORCHA has a comprehensive review process for apps, and creates app ecosystems of safe and secure apps for use by health and care providers, and the community as a whole.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the ensuing pandemic, ORCHA has launched a free COVID-19 Health and Care App Formulary (https://covid19.orcha.co.uk/), so that consumers, and health and care professionals, can find quality apps to help with self-management of health and wellbeing, remote monitoring, and online service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the mobile and web-based apps also help to keep pressure off the NHS at this time.

As a free-to-use resource, the ORCHA COVID-19 app formulary site includes reviews of health and care apps across a range of conditions areas relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic, including apps to help self-manage:

  • Anxiety and mental wellbeing
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Diabetes
  • Maternity
  • Muscular and pain-management solutions

ORCHA is also offering its Pro Accounts free to all for the next three months. This will allow health and care professionals to recommend apps directly to patients via text or email, for free. This service will be available for free from 6th April to 6th July 2020, at which time ORCHA will reassess the situation.

ORCHA has worked to put together further information on specific apps that can help those in need of support. These apps can help with self-management, remote-monitoring, and staying healthy, and have all been assessed by ORCHA for safety, quality, and clinical assurance:

Using these apps can help you manage anxiety and well-being, amongst other specific condition areas, and take some pressure off the NHS during this time of high demand.

ORCHA can be reached as follows:

Email: hello@orcha.co.uk

T: 01925 606 542

  • Max Chen

    Max Chen

    Policy Manager | Digital Adoption
    T 07943 640 911
  • Ellie Huckle

    Ellie Huckle

    Programme Manager | Central Government
    T 020 7331 2015

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