How has COVID-19 impacted this increase? In which new areas is ORCHA working to drive digital health adoption?


A rise in UK health and care services introducing an App Library

As the NHS, social care organisations, and local authorities, continue responding to the COVID-19 crisis, ORCHA is seeing a growing number introducing bespoke App Libraries to help their patients, professionals and service users find the best health and care apps at this time.


Who has recently launched an ORCHA App Library to help their patients and service users?

Over the past month alone, the following organisations have worked with ORCHA to launch a bespoke App Library to help their patients and service users. These sites largely function as part of the COVID-19 response in the first instance, but also to support mHealth recommendation to patients and service users.

  • The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy to support its members, physiotherapists, across the country, providing them with the ability to recommend mHealth to their patients and service users
  • Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCFT)’s App Library serves as part of the Trust’s COVID response in the first instance, allowing its healthcare professionals to recommend apps for self-management to their patients
  • Dorset CCG launched an App Library to support Dorset STP, catering to health and social care, including social prescribers and health coaches
  • Cheshire & Merseyside HCP’s App Library is part of its COVID-19 response in the first instance, and comes free with SilverCloud on Alma Health, where the ORCHA App Library is integrated as an iFrame
  • East Berkshire CCG has also launched an ORCHA App Library as part of its COVID response, which has been implemented as an iFrame on the Frimley Health and Care website and Berkshire West ICP website
  • Staffordshire County Council’s App Library has been launched in an iFrame with a COVID-19 focus in the first instance, and has been put in place to support vulnerable communities
  • Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland (HSCNI) has launched another App Library in partnership with ORCHA. In addition to its Apps4Dementia App Library, HSCNI has now launched a mental health focused App Library, in collaboration with the Department of Health in NI, as part of its COVID-19 response.

Additional organisations who are expected to launch an App Library to integrate with their services soon include: The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM), Herefordshire and Worcestershire STP, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin STP, Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), Lancashire County Council, Home Instead, and Saints Community Development Foundation, the charitable arm of St. Helens rugby club.

This comes at a time when ORCHA is also providing a COVID-19 App Formulary so that all professionals, patients and consumers can access safe, digital resources to help with the self-management of their health and wellbeing. We hope these App Libraries will help to support populations, health and care workers, and vulnerable people throughout the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, facilitating continual access to safe digital health solutions that have been assessed by ORCHA.

Commenting on this growth in demand for App Libraries, ORCHA’s Founding CEO, Liz Ashall-Payne, explained, “Digital Health has a clear role to play to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. In both health and care settings, there are good quality apps that can help make a real difference to someone’s physical or mental health. We are driven to help people find them.”


What are the benefits of having a bespoke ORCHA App Library?

To drive uptake of health and care apps, ORCHA provides tailored App Library sites, featuring a range of evaluated apps to help professional health and care bodies meet the health and support challenges in their region. Our platform is safe, efficient, and enables the best apps to be identified. ORCHA also provides customisable ‘microsite’ App Libraries, which health and care organisations/bodies, local authorities, and charities, can purchase to drive uptake of health and care apps. These tailored App Library sites enable clients to optimally target the audiences they want to activate or support.


What does the Pro Account feature entail?

The ORCHA Pro Account is the key to embedding and integrating digital health into day-to-day care delivery. Pro Accounts can be purchased as part of the microsite, App Library package, so that health and care professionals can recommend apps directly to patients and service users. A Pro Account provides all the tools and support required for professionals to interact safely and effectively with ORCHA’s digital health solutions, as well as providing health and care organisations and systems with the ability to monitor, manage and govern all elements of the digital health integration lifecycle.

The Pro Account offers a variety of ways to quickly find and recommend mHealth apps that have been reviewed by ORCHA, including functions such as: Favourites, Recommendations Sent, Recommendations Received, Quick Search, and the Advanced Search features. Professionals can also choose to share links to app Reviews, rather than recommending an app directly.


Why work with ORCHA?

With over 365,000 health and care apps on the market, empowering people and professionals to know which apps are safe and trustworthy is essential. Working with ORCHA allows health and care bodies, professionals, patients and service users to access high quality digital health.

Embedding an ORCHA App Library into health and care pathways overcomes the barriers of awareness, access, trust and governance that so often inhibit the adoption of mHealth.

Our vision is to revolutionise care through the safe integration of digital health solutions into all aspects of health and care services, leading to more patient-centred, effective care.


Where else does ORCHA work in the UK?

As well as working with health and care bodies across the world, ORCHA continues to expand its service offering across the United Kingdom. The below map outlines which parts of the UK we currently work with, and those areas in which ORCHA App Libraries will be coming soon! We look forward to working with more health and care bodies to help even more patients and service users to access safe, high quality digital health resources.