The national healthcare body in the UK, the NHS, has just announced starting in 2017 they will offer devices and apps to patients for free. The CEO, Simon Stevens mentioned patients with diabetes, heart disease, pregnant women or acutely ill patients as those who might benefit from the new offering. One such app that Stevens mentioned is a mobile heart monitor that can be used with smartphones and the Apple Watch to capture EKGs.
This announcement comes on the heels of two studies presented at ASCO in early June. The first, by Dr. Fabrice Denis and colleagues, demonstrated that an app (called MoovCare) for patients with lung cancer which records symptoms and alerts the patient’s physicians in the event of a likely relapse, actually improved overall survival compared to routine follow-up. The second app, for patients with metastatic breast cancer, allows patients to answer a brief questionnaire and provide consent to research teams to obtain medical records and tumour samples. This initiative allows easier access for researchers to a large database.
We’re excited to see what apps will be available for patients in the UK next year!