New NHS programme seeks digital healthcare solutions

5 March 2015

National Director for Patients and Information Tim Kelsey has launched a new NHS England programme intended to support health professionals in the National Health Service (NHS) develop apps and digital tools to improve patient care.

The new NHS Code4Health programme was launched at the UK e-Health Week event in London; it is said to provide health professionals with ‘specialist training and support to create and deliver their own IT programmes and products to increase their involvement in the development of online tools that will directly lead to improved care’. This includes app development.

Code4Health is an important part of the National Information Board’s Framework for Action, Personalised Health and Care 2020 released in October last year. The programme is intended to become a means for spreading useful knowledge and innovation within the health system, and to bring together local and virtual communities to share ideas on how best to apply technological developments to improve healthcare.

This initiative to ‘harness the information revolution’ is unusual in that it is intended to grow from the grassroots level upwards rather than the normal top-down approach for technological health service innovations, probably to build on the growing social trends that see an increasing proportion of the population at home with apps and other digital innovations.

Tim Kelsey said:  “The Code4Health programme will not only encourage those who work in the NHS to engage with technology but also empower them to shape it into digital solutions which are meaningful to them and their work”.

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