Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board to partner with leading digital health app review and distribution company

Lucia Victor

Patients who are supported by the Wellness Improvement Service (WISE) at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board will soon have personal access to a digital healthcare library, thanks to a new partnership with the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA).

ORCHA is the world’s leading health app review and distribution company and has already created Health App Libraries and Digital Health Formularies in 70% of NHS regions in the UK.

WISE will have its own Health App Library that is tailored to assist patients who are on secondary care waiting lists within four separate cohort conditions – mental health, cardiology, IBS/gastroenterology and pain management.

The individual apps selected by WISE clinicians will offer alternative non-medical intervention to a wide range of medical and lifestyle issues.

It is becoming common practice that digital tools are being used to supplement face-to-face healthcare, empowering citizens to manage their own health and helping to reduce NHS spending. Health apps are increasingly being used to support patients and service users with long-term conditions such as cancer and diabetes, and with lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation and diet management.

Liza Thomas-Emrus, Lead Clinician with WISE said:

“Taking into consideration our holistic lifestyle medicine ethos at WISE and the rapid growth of social prescribing app usage in Wales, we are extremely excited to have partnered with the digital health experts at ORCHA.

“Our team views health and care apps as a crucial step on the journey to a more patient-centred, self-managed healthcare approach – something close to our own hearts.

“Social prescribing apps will also help us overcome the current post-pandemic challenges we face at Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board, and, with the future in mind, provide an alternative healthcare approach to our population with ever increasing life expectancy and more long-term conditions.”

ORCHA reviews health apps against 350 tough standards, including elements of the NICE framework – and only apps which achieve a score of over 65% for clinical assurance, data privacy and usability are featured in its libraries. Fresh reviews are triggered each time an app is updated, so that standards are maintained.

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