Parkinson's app uMotif is the first app to be prescribed on the NHS

Emma Haslett
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The app has already been trialed on people with Parkinson's and diabetes (Source: Getty)

The NHS has just started prescribing its first app - from now on, patients with conditions such as diabetes, heart failure and Parkinsons can use uMotif, developed by a London-based startup, to monitor their health,

The app works by monitoring patients' blood pressure, blood glucose - and even includes a pedometer. Using the data it gets from them, it can issue patients with reminders, and help doctors to assess how well they are doing between appointments. To get access to it, patients are given a code on their prescription, and they can then download it from the iTunes or Android app store.

With the popularity of apps like MyFitnessPal, not to mention FitBug-style activity trackers, the logging of daily activity has become a pretty common thing. uMotif chief executive Bruce Hellman said we're at the "tipping point where digital health is about to start exploding and technology can really help to put people at the heart of their care".

At the moment, the app is being trialled for treatment of Parkinson's and diabetes, but it will be widened out across 17 NHS organisations. The idea is that it helps clinicians to develop on the NHS National Information Board's plans to "put patents at the centre of their care using technology" (although we'd hope patients were at the centre of their care already...).

The app can even link in with other healthcare applications, like Microsoft HealthVault. So following that £12bn IT bungle which crippled the NHS back in 2011, it looks like the service is finally getting its teeth into technology...

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