How can health and care apps keep pressure off the NHS?
Coronavirus: Apps to help the elderly
With people over 70 and those with underlying health conditions to stay at home (1), digital health resources have never been so important to manage conditions and help wellbeing.
Health and care apps, when used safely, help to keep pressure off the NHS in a time of high demand, as well as allowing patients to protect themselves and others from unnecessary risk. However, app stores are unregulated, and 85% of apps do not meet ORCHA’s quality threshold.
To support NHS efforts, below we have listed tested apps for you to be aware of that can offer support specifically for the elderly and vulnerable, including apps for managing COPD, medication reminders, mental wellness and general wellbeing.
Each of the following apps meet ORCHA’s quality threshold for apps that are safe to use.
ORCHA helps the NHS to assess and build apps into practice. Please feel free to get in touch with us at email@example.com if you’d like any more information or advice.
Coronavirus: Apps to help the elderly
- MyTherapy Medication Reminder allows users to manage medications, and track measurements and symptoms, all in one place. The app provides reminders for intakes and refills, and reports on medication taken, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and more, available in the app and as a PDF.
- TabCare* is an app that incorporates a Panic Alarm, location tracker and heart-rate monitor. A user can press the Panic Alarm at any moment to alert their carer, who will then receive location information so that the user can receive the help they need. The TabCare system allows families to make sure that their older relatives are safe.
- CareZone makes it simpler to take care of yourself, an ageing parent, and other family members that need your help. The app allows users to take pictures of medications (prescriptions, OTC, and supplements), and the names, dosages, and other details are automatically added for you. Users receive reminders when it’s time to take a medication, refill a prescription, and track adherence progress by recording when doses are taken.
- Moves4Me* supports adults to stay physically stronger for longer by improving access to resistance exercise training. The exercise app is specifically designed to promote strength, balance, and prevent falls in older adults. It has been designed by clinical experts and uses evidence based assessments and specially designed exercise programmes to promote independent living. The Moves4Me app brings a personal trainer to your home, removing access barriers to exercise for older adults.
- Elevate – Brain Training Games* is a brain training program designed to improve focus, speaking abilities, processing speed, memory, maths skills, and more. Each user is provided with a personalised training program that adjusts over time to maximise results. The more users train with Elevate, the more they’ll improve critical cognitive skills that are proven to boost productivity and self-confidence.
- myCOPD*, part of the my mhealth platform, has been designed and built by COPD experts. It allows users to perfect their inhaler technique, manage their COPD from world experts, and complete online pulmonary rehabilitation classes from the comfort of their home.
- FibriCheck* targets the prevention of possibly life-threatening strokes by enabling early detection of heart rhythm disorders, with a main focus on atrial fibrillation. The medically certified application (CE and FDA) uses the clinically validated PPG technology, making the detection of heart rhythm disorders possible with just a smartphone or smartwatch.
- Lumosity* is a brain training program that provides a fun, interactive way to build a daily habit around acquiring knowledge and learning about how you think. Lumosity offers a comprehensive brain training program designed to put critical thinking, memory, and problem-solving skills to the test.
- Zemedy is an app for the self-management of IBS, built to create a lasting difference to physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing. With the help from a digital AI Coach, Elle, Zemedy guides users through a unique 10-week programme, changing the way they treat their IBS symptoms for good. Zemedy uses the most effective psychological therapies for IBS: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT for IBS) and gut-directed Hypnotherapy.
Experts think that coronavirus can survive on surfaces, possibly for days, so it’s important that your phone – at home, mobile or at work – is cleaned thoroughly and often. As modern phones tend to be water-resistant and sterilising wipes could damage the screen, you could clean your phone with regular soap and water and a single-use paper towel – but do check your phone is water-resistant before you try it. (2)
*may include in-app purchases
With a wealth of useful apps on our App Library, the above is not an exhaustive list. Click here to search for more health and care apps to help with self-management.
(1) GOV.UK: Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK
(2) Coronavirus: Eleven of your most popular questions, answered
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