Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, has compiled a list of nearly 500 tools which will be recommended by the NHS after a public appeal for the best new ideas and existing mobile phone apps. GPs will be asked to recommend apps that are free or cheap for their patients to use, in an attempt to give patients more power and reduce visits to doctors. Among the apps available is a tool for food allergy suffers that scans bar codes on shop products to warn them if they contain dangerous ingredients. A new diabetes app from Diabetes UK gives people reminders on checking blood sugar levels and taking medication. Information can then be sent electronically to the patient's surgery or clinic. Other popular choices include tools to help people deal with post-traumatic stress, to spot breast cancer, track and monitor blood pressure and the NHS Choices app, which help people find NHS services and offers practical advice.
Patients Know Best, which enables patients to get all their records from their clinicians and can control who accesses them, has also proved successful. It is already used in some hospitals including Great Ormond Street and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The Department of Health said that a quarter of people who use its NHS Choices website and app visit their GP less frequently. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "So many people use apps every day to keep up with their friends, with the news, find out when the next bus will turn up or which train to catch. "I want to make using apps to track blood pressure, to find the nearest source of support when you need it and to get practical help in staying healthy the norm. "With more information at their fingertips, patients can truly be in the driving seat."
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