New health secretary Matt Hancock calls for more use of apps in the NHS

The new health secretary, Matt Hancock, says there needs to be more use of apps in the National Health Service. He told BBC Newsbeat: “The NHS needs to be more convenient for you, but also to help clinicians so that doctors’ and nurses’ lives are easier.”

“A real opportunity”

Matt Hancock has a background in technology. In his previous job as culture secretary, he became the first MP to launch an app. “It’s a real passion of mine and I think there’s a real opportunity”, he said of the proposal, which he insists is not aimed at simply cutting cost, but about making this and other parts of government more “tech savvy and digital”.

NHS apps library

Hancock’s statement comes just after the NHS launched its new Apps Library. The NHS Apps Library, which is currently in beta testing phase, brings a number of digital tools together in one place. Each tool has been through a thorough assessment and is safe to use. My Possible Self, which helps people reduce stress, anxiety and mild-to-moderate depression, is proud to have been selected as one of these apps.

Trusted mental health apps

Both Mr Hancock’s initiative and the NHS apps library are focusing on mental health as a priority. Mental health is one of the biggest challenges facing the NHS, and apps can offer people more power to take control of their own wellbeing.

In the past, the main concern from the public and health charities has been a lack of regulation in the quality of the apps available. That’s why quality and safety took centre stage when developing the NHS Apps Library, with only trusted providers making the cut.

Long-term investment needed

Mr Hancock has also stated that apps are just one part of the overall plan to improve mental health. He said the government is “just getting going”, with plans to place hundreds of new mental health workers in and near schools and colleges from next year.

Labour has called on the government to allocate funds appropriately to ensure that any new apps are both safe and accessible to all.

My Possible Self

My Possible Self agrees that mental health apps should be subject to quality checks. Our content has been developed by a world-leading team of academic researchers at the Black Dog Institute. Their digital mental health programmes have been subject to rigorous trials, and proven to reduce stress, anxiety and mild-to-moderate depression.

David Smith, CEO of the Hull and East Yorkshire branch of the charity Mind, said of My Possible Self: “Among the abundance of low quality and at times questionable apps, My Possible Self stands out as a product that not only offers standalone support but a useful complement to conventional face-to-face therapy.”

Download our app to take our free module on Managing Fear and Anxiety, and try our free Moments diary feature. You can also subscribe to a monthly or yearly plan to unlock our mood tracking feature and a range of additional self-improvement modules.