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Smartphone apps could replace appointments for diabetes patients

The Department of Health is aiming to prescribe health apps for patients who take daily health readings, such as people with diabetes and high blood pressure. Readings entered into an app (smartphone application) could help patients and healthcare professionals to keep a detailed set of health records.
Figures which could be collected include blood sugar level and blood pressure readings. The NHS has collected feedback from its patients on their favourite health apps, providing a list of over 500 different applications.
Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley stated: “Innovation and technology can revolutionise the health service, and we are looking at how the NHS can use these apps for the benefit of patients, including how GPs could offer them for free.”
One of the key questions is over how the NHS will be able to monitor large quantities of data and get meaningful results. The government is due to provide more information on its plans for health data collection and usage within its Information Strategy to be unveiled in the Spring. Health apps have already showed promise. The NHS Direct app has already recorded over 1 million downloads.

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