There’s “an app for that” for just about everything these days. Indeed, applications for Smartphones are multiplying so fast there will soon be more apps than people on earth, or at least it seems that way. In healthcare there are apps for almost any chronic condition you might want to manage. There are apps for dieting, weight loss, fitness, even sexual health. For docs, there are apps for looking at x-rays, reading an ECG, or monitoring the fetal distress of an unborn baby. Big health insurance companies are developing their own apps to help customers find a doctor, access the latest health information, or plan a new exercise program. Is it any wonder then that there is a new app to access useful health information from the UK’s National Health Service.
The new application for Windows Phone OS (and soon for other operating systems too) is called “Health Choices”. It provides Windows Phone users with their own patient information as it includes access to Microsoft® HealthVault® – the cloud-based platform offering intuitive and interactive ways to create and monitor wellness information. Once users create an account and log in they can view and store comprehensive NHS approved information including details of conditions, medication, immunisation records and local hospital/clinic and GP contact information. In addition, the app also includes secure data from NHS Choices, allowing people to view reliable educational information surrounding their conditions, treatments and medications.
With Bing maps integrated, the app can help find location information, directions and contact details for GPs, dentists, hospital departments and other NHS services. A key feature is the Live Tile which when pinned to the start screen, provides real-time information at a glance. ‘Health Choices’ updates automatically with ‘Behind the Headlines’ news from NHS Choices and allows people to pin local NHS service information, such as contact and address details, straight to their start screen. The app also includes independent ratings on services, so people can make informed decisions about the best clinic or hospital for them.
“Health Choices” is available for download on the Windows Phone Marketplace where useful and informative health applications of all kinds are multiplying by the day. If you get services from the NHS in the UK, check it out and let me know what you think.
Bill Crounse, MD, Senior Director, Worldwide Health – Microsoft