Making it even easier to find good health apps.

Making it even easier to find good health apps.

Home to the world’s only comparison site of health apps, we are passionate about helping patients and professionals find and compare health apps against a range of criteria including data security, clinical safety, and usability.

On behalf of NHS, Educational and Corporate organisations across the UK and Europe, we review more apps than anyone else, checking against more than 140 criteria and create local targeted app libraries which drive user and professional uptake of the best apps on the market. Up until now we have published the results of all reviews on our site, highlighting how an app rates against this criteria, giving an overall score and providing the review details behind this.

After listening to our clients along with feedback from clinical and medical professionals we have created an improved offer which aims to drive even easier access to the best health apps on the market.

So what is different?

For Apps that are classified as  a level 4 (meaning the highest Level of complexity and therefore hold a greater clinical safety risk), we have introduced minimum compliance criteria. Such Apps will now have to demonstrate a suitably qualified professional or body behind the App and evidence of the App’s effectiveness in suitable studies or trials. All Apps which fall into this classification AND that fail to meet this minimum criteria will be excluded from all ORCHA platforms, meaning people, patients and professionals will only be able to find, download and recommend the best.

Talking of the change, Liz Ashall Payne said: “We help both the NHS and organisations supporting health and wellbeing, to successfully integrate safe and effective health apps into their services.  We also advise developers on the stringent requirements needed within the health and care market, to help support the creation of revolutionary apps. We think this change will make health app choices even clearer for patients.”

If you want to learn more please get in touch!

Email Hello@orcha.co.uk

Follow us on Twitter @ORCHAuk

ORCHA team up with the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine

ORCHA team up with the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine

We have teamed up with the British Society for Lifestyle Medicine (BSLM) to provide an online platform for members to prescribe ‘apps’ to patients.

In their recent newsletter, Dr Sohaib Imtiaz MPH, wrote:

Digital health is advancing rapidly and patients are increasingly engaging with apps and using their smartphones to stay healthy. A health professional can’t be present all the time for patients and apps help empower patients to take charge of their own health. Many apps use the principles of gamification, tracking and health promotion to enable patients to become healthier which over time enables behaviour change. ORCHA has created a search engine for reviewed health apps that have been rated by their team after going through a robust process. The search engine allows you to search for an app based on keywords and demographic details with results featuring apps with different ratings for clinical effectiveness, data security and the pro and cons. ORCHA has produced bslm.orcha.co.uk, which is tailored for the BSLM with a consistent theme and a focus on apps geared towards lifestyle medicine.

Signing up for a pro account allows you to ‘prescribe’ apps to your patients by sending a ‘link’ via messaging such as text or e-mail. Preventative medicine is going to increasingly rely on Digital therapeutics to help people stay healthy. Increasingly patients will want digital solutions and the ORCHA platform allows you to have a validated method of suggesting the best apps for there concerns. As the digital innovation director and an advocate of technology I am excited about the potential this collaboration could bring for promoting lifestyle medicine. If you’re interested in signing up for a pro account, e-mail sam@orcha.co.uk in order to set it up.

Great to be working with the team at BSLM!

 

Two innovative NW health organisations selected for national NHS support

Two innovative NW health organisations selected for national NHS support

Two innovative health products developed in Merseyside and Cheshire are among 11 selected to join the prestigious NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA).

The Accelerator is run by NHS England in partnership with Academic Health Science Networks – including the Innovation Agency, the AHSN for the North West Coast. The programme accelerates the uptake of high impact products throughout the NHS, providing a vital boost for innovators.

ORCHA provides a health app finder platform for health organisations and individuals, allowing easy and clear access to verified apps. The company began in Liverpool and recently moved to Sci-Tech Daresbury, near Warrington.

ORCHA Chief Executive Liz Ashall-Payne said: “We are delighted to be part of the National Innovation Accelerator and are excited to be able to scale up our work to deliver more health benefits across England.”

Also new to the Accelerator is Liverpool-based Damibu with their app CATCH – Common Approach To Children’s Health. This has been supported by the Innovation Agency, who are funding its use in maternity and children’s services in Cheshire and Merseyside.

The CATCH app gives parents appropriate and understandable information when they need it, via smartphone or tablet. Avoiding the inappropriate use of NHS services when self-care would be more appropriate.

Damibu Chief Executive Dave Burrows said: “The Damibu team are really excited about the possibilities that joining the NIA family has to offer.  Damibu is already known within the North West for its health innovations, as shown by the NHS North West Excellence in Supply Award we won last month.

“Being selected for the NIA gives us a springboard to spread our innovations nationally.  We intend to make the most of this unique opportunity.”

The Innovation Agency has supported both Damibu and Orcha to spread their innovations in the North West Coast. Innovation Agency Chief Executive Dr Liz Mear said: “I am absolutely delighted that two innovators in our region have been selected for this prestigious NHS programme. We have been supporting their teams for some time and I’m proud that we’ve been able to help them reach this stage; I’m sure they will now experience a boost in the spread of their innovations.”

Since it launched in July 2015, the NIA has supported the uptake and spread of 25 high-impact, evidence-based innovations across 799 NHS organisations.

Each of the new innovations joining the NIA in 2017 offer solutions to key challenges in primary care, urgent and emergency care and mental health. Their selection follows an international and robust selection process, including review by a collegiate of over 100 assessors and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Simon Stevens, NHS England Chief Executive said: “Modern medicine is on the cusp of a huge shift in how care is delivered, and practical innovations like these show how NHS patients will now directly benefit. More tests and patient monitoring will be done at home or on the move, without the need to pitch up to a doctor’s appointment or hospital outpatients.”

Ian Dodge, National Director for Strategy and Innovation at NHS England, said: “Since it started, the NHS Innovation Accelerator has continued to deliver for patients and the taxpayer. It’s just one of the ways that the NHS is getting its act together to provide practical help for innovators with the best ideas. From a small investment, we are already seeing very big benefits – safer care for patients, better value for taxpayers, new jobs created and export wins.”

The 11 innovations selected to join the NIA in 2017 are:

  • CATCH – Common Approach To Children’s Health: Addressing the inappropriate use of NHS services when self-care would be more appropriate, the CATCH app gives parents appropriate and understandable information when they need and want it, via smartphone or tablet.
  • ORCHA: ORCHA or Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications, works with CCGs and providers to develop health app portals, allowing professionals easy and clear access to a verified resource. This enables them to enhance services and outcomes by finding and recommending the best apps to patients
  • Dip.io: App which turns a smartphone into a clinical device, providing patients with clinically accurate urine analysis from home in a matter of minutes
  • ESCAPE-pain: ‘Enabling Self-management and Coping of Arthritic Pain through Exercise’ or ESCAPE-pain, is a six-week group programme delivered to people aged 45+ with Osteoarthritis (OA).
  • FREED: The FREED ‘first episode rapid early intervention service for eating disorders’ model of care provides a rapid early response intervention for young people aged 16 to 25 years with short (three years or less) first episode illness duration.
  • Home monitoring of hypertension in pregnancy (HaMpton): New care pathway involving the use of an app for monitoring high blood pressure at home, empowering expectant mothers to be involved in their own care.
  • Lantum: A cloud-based tool built to help NHS Providers fill empty shifts in clinical rotas.
  • My Diabetes My Way: Low-cost, scalable, comprehensive online self-management platform for people with diabetes.
  • Oviva Diabetes Support: A fully remote, technology-enabled programme of type 2 diabetes structured education, combining 1-to-1 support from a registered dietitian with evidence-based online educational materials and use of the Oviva app to support behaviour change.
  • RespiraSense: The world’s first continuous respiratory rate monitor, enabling medical teams the ability to detect signs of patient deterioration 12 hours earlier than the standard of care.
  • WaitLess: Free, patient-facing app which shows patients the fastest place to access urgent care services for minor conditions.

 

For more information about the NIA, visit www.nhsaccelerator.com.

Driving Digital Health Apps with Business Growth Hub

Driving Digital Health Apps with Business Growth Hub

We have entered into a partnership with Greater Manchester’s Business Growth Hub.

The Business Growth Hub has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with us to recognise the emergence of medtech and digital health in Greater Manchester.

.

For healthcare developers in Greater Manchester, this agreement provides access to information on how to make their app better, including advice on how to break into niche health and care sectors; how to develop new routes to the health and wellbeing market  and impartial feedback on their product.

Ian MacArthur, head of Sectors at Business Growth Hub, said:

“Greater Manchester has a great community of app developers already working in the health sector, and a great deal more with the potential to enter this market. Working with ORCHA we will open up new markets and ensure the apps are fit for purpose and commercially successful.”

Liz Ashall-Payne, our CEO, said:

“We want to support app developers in Manchester by offering a new route to market and showcasing the very best health apps. App developers we work with benefit from impartial feedback and comparison with others in the market to improve their product. Together we can create a thriving market place for apps that really benefit people and communities.”

To read the full news story, check out the articles on the following sites:

http://digitalhealthage.com/orcha-business-growth-hub-driving-digital-health-apps/

http://www.businesscloud.co.uk/news/orcha-partners-with-business-growth-hub

http://www.bqlive.co.uk/north-west/2017/10/04/news/orcha-to-drive-health-app-innovation-28059/

https://www.businessupnorth.co.uk/orcha-business-growth-hub-partner-drive-health-app-innovation-greater-manchester/

ReThink: AN MHEALTH/SEXUAL HEALTH AWARENESS CASE STUDY

ReThink: AN MHEALTH/SEXUAL HEALTH AWARENESS CASE STUDY

Ormiston Rivers Academy

As part of the roll out of the Digital Healthy Schools Programme in Essex, ORCHA engaged with a group of students from Ormiston Rivers Academy who are using mHealth solutions to help them with the roll out of their own initiative…

ReThink, a group of KS4 students from Ormiston Rivers Academy in Essex, are raising awareness of taboo subjects such as sexual and mental health, and issues surrounding the LGBT+ community.

Having felt that they missed out on elements of this education, they have completed qualifications and are now rolling out assemblies and classes in their school. They regularly host events aimed at raising awareness and supporting their peers through potentially turbulent and ambiguous times, being adamant that “we would rather have an uncomfortable population than an uneducated one”.

Wanting to normalise how their peers think about these subjects, the group are looking at how to increase the use mHealth solutions and apps to back up their message; reasoning that encouraging app use means this education and positive thinking continues outside the classroom.

The group already use Period Trackers as a key element of their advised support, but had mixed experiences finding one that they rated highly enough to recommend. So, when ORCHA came to present for the Digital Healthy Schools Programme, the group were impressed by the potential ORCHA brings; helping users identify the best apps for men’s health, women’s health, and sexual health for example.

They can now easily research the best apps and recommend them as part of their advice, or point peers to the Essex Digital Healthy Schools Programme ORCHA page, aimed at school children in Essex, at myhealthessex.orcha.co.uk and let them research apps themselves. As Miss Marable, Teacher of Religious Studies, Citizenship and Sociology, explains “it’s really exciting to see how two such important initiatives [ReThink and the Digital Healthy Schools Programme] have the potential to support each other and positively impact both the physical and psychological wellbeing of our students”. Dr Muhammad Khan, Medical Adviser at ORCHA, continues “there is such an exciting symbiosis here, and there is so much potential to make a real difference to the wellbeing of young people in the area”.

ReThink now hope to raise more awareness of their work and find a way to get sustainable funding so they can increase their span of influence to the whole of Essex and beyond.

To find out more about the Digital Healthy Schools Programme or how ReThink are using ORCHA, or if you’d like to support ReThink get in touch with Andy Jeans

MYTH 1 – One app will fit all!

MYTH 1 – One app will fit all!

MYTH 1 – One app will fit all?

At the minute, it seems everyone is on the hunt for that one diabetes app, or that one mental health app that will help EVERYONE who has that condition or need.  But I want to ask you- do we really think there is one app for all?

I get asked all the time, “Liz what is the best app?” my answer is simple,

That question is like asking “what is the best hotel in the world?”…….It depends, where I want to go, when and with whom. This is the same with apps!

Let me give you an example, when I was diagnosed with late onset Type 1 Diabetes, I needed information and education about my new diagnosis – I was in shock.  I may have also benefited from talking to other diabetic people to ask questions and learn about my new condition, and what is great is that we now see many apps with these functions and features, BUT now nearly ten years on I know about my condition, and really need a tool that will help me to monitor my sugars and provide me with data to help me manage my condition. My needs have CHANGED.

What would have worked for me before, is now fully redundant, but thankfully there is a whole load of other apps which offer me the features I now need.

I suppose this is where we started with medication, so years ago if we had an infection we would give everyone penicillin, but now we know different antibiotics work better in different infections, and as we move to a world including genomics, we can be even more precise!

We need to think about apps in the same way, one size will not fit all, and until we accept that, we will stop the right app from getting to the right person. We may even say that an app has failed, but it is more likely THAT app wasn’t designed for THAT person. If we can understand this we can move to a place where people can get the right products at the right time, and better outcomes can be achieved.

If you want to understand how you can help your populations and professionals to choose the best app for them, their families or their patients get in touch with ORCHA today at Hello@orcha.co.uk

Liz Ashall-Payne
CEO and Founder
ORCHA

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

To keep up to date with events, fundraising, campaigning and other work, please fill in the form.

Thanks for joining our mailing list!