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ORCHA Launches COVID-19 Health App Formulary

Health apps have grown enormously in popularity, even more so during the COVID-19 Pandemic. As recently reported(1), since early March more than 500 health apps contain coronavirus-related keywords in their description.

People are taking advice from these apps, often using them to sharing sensitive information. Yet, in a time of fake reviews, scams and personal data breaches, not all health apps can be trusted.

The Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA) today launches a health app formulary to help healthcare professionals and consumers know which health apps they can trust. As a free to use resource, the site includes reviews of health apps across a range of health conditions relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic, including reviews of COVID-19 apps launched to date.

ORCHA is also offering free professional accounts to all NHS staff for the next three months. The ORCHA Pro Account lets healthcare professionals find and recommend health apps to patients via text or email. This avoids any errors in remembering or downloading the wrong app, and gives the professional a record of who has been recommended an app.

ORCHA measures the health of health apps. It verifies the accuracy, security, and risks associated with their use. Any app offering special pricing or approaches at this time, if it is particularly useful in supporting the COVID-19 response, or if there are any implementation approaches to support the COVID-19 challenge, is given a specific ‘COVID-19’ label in the formulary.

The COVID-19 Health App Formulary can be found at:

Health Professionals can sign up to their free ORCHA Pro Account here too.

Examples of great apps that can be found in the library include:

  • SilverCloud: Offering digital programmes for a wide range of common mental health conditions and programmes specifically for the mental health aspects of living with a long term condition.
  • Sleepio: A digital programme scientifically proven to help you sleep well without taking medication. Supporting the COVID-19 efforts, Sleepio is currently free for all NHS staff.
  • FibriCheck: Test your heart rhythm in just 60 seconds by holding your finger over the camera on your smartphone.
  • Pharmacy2U: Get your medicine without leaving home. Flexible and free delivery for NHS prescriptions.

TSA is proud to support this initiative

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