NHS Direct app now available in Apple store
iPhone users are now able to download the new NHS Direct app following the successful launch of the Andriod version last week.
The health app is now available from the Apple store and gives users access to official health information and advice.
Thirty-seven symptom checkers are featured as part of the app and users have to answer questions about the symptoms they are experiencing to receive a diagnoses.
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The app then provides self-care advice or alternatively advises the user if they should seek further medical assistance.
If this is the case the app is linked to the NHS Direct telephone service and it can generate a call back from an NHS Direct Nurse Advisor.
Symptom checkers have already proved to be popular online tools and the NHS is hoping that by launching the apps people will be encouraged to self-asses and treat their symptoms based on clinically-proven medical advice.
As a result they are hoping people will be less inclined to use already overstretched local NHS services such as hospital A&E departments or GP surgeries for conditions which aren’t an emergency.
Since its launch on Thursday, the Android version of the app has already been downloaded 1,774 times.
Roger Donald, the associate Director of Multichannel at NHS Direct said of the apps launch: “The NHS Direct app has been developed in response to the popularity of this new mobile channel and to the specific needs of the growing number of patients who prefer to access health advice online.”
Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”