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Commission health apps

How to commission or adapt products from the NHS Apps Library.

Benefits of commissioning an existing app or digital tool

Commissioners might not need to develop a health app or digital tool. There might already be a solution available to commission or adapt.

The NHS Apps Library offers health apps and digital tools that have been assessed against national standards.

They can help to improve health outcomes, support care pathways and increase the efficiency of services in your region.

These products can be commissioned or potentially adapted to meet your requirements, rather than you having to develop a new one.

The benefits of commissioning one that already exists on the library include that:

  • it will already have successfully met our technical standards, in topics like clinical safety, data protection and security
  • it's cheaper than developing one and can be implemented more quickly
  • existing solutions have often been implemented successfully by others, giving reassurance that they are effective
  • we're working to help prevent duplication, by providing details of products currently under assessment

Check the NHS Apps Library first

Check the NHS Apps Library for existing products that could meet your needs, before you consider developing something new.

For example, we have apps that can help to treat conditions, book GP appointments or order repeat prescriptions.

You can:

  • search the library by app name or keyword
  • filter apps by one or more categories, or by price, or by both

Contact the developer directly from the relevant library app page, if you find a product you'd like to commission or adapt. Details will be in the 'report an issue' section towards the end of the page.

Develop your own solution

You could consider developing your own solution if you can't find anything on the NHS Apps Library that meets your needs.

Make sure it meets the standards and regulations set out in our digital assessment questions.

This will help to improve the quality of your product and make it easier to meet our assessment criteria.

You could:

We are working to produce a contact list of developers who have successfully completed our assessment.

Help with innovating

Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) can give you help and advice on commissioning.

They've been set up to help spread health innovations quickly and effectively. 

They bring together NHS and academic organisations, local authorities, the third sector and industry.

Innovate UK provides funding and advice to help develop and implement innovations in healthcare.

Help with financial planning

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) offers a variety of resources "to support digital health innovators using the economic impact standards".

This includes:

  • a budget impact template, to help you understand the cost of implementing digital health solutions in your region
  • case studies that examine the effectiveness and economic impact of commissioned apps and digital tools

Visit 'evidence standards framework for digital health technologies' and scroll down to 'supporting resources'.

Help from other national initiatives

Empower the person

Our work is part of a wider national 'Empower the person (ETP)' initiative, of apps and tools for patient care.

It aims to empower patients by using digital technology in health and social care.

The ETP roadmap shows an overview of the services involved. Select each roadmap item for more details.

Personal Health Records

The Personal Health Records (PHR) toolkit supports health and care organisations in England to commission, develop or manage PHRs and other citizen-facing tools.

The interactive PHR map shows locations and contact details for organisations developing PHRs in England.

NHS login

NHS login can be used to provide secure access to apps and websites.

It offers different levels and combinations of user verification and authentication, to make sure that users are who they say they are.

It removes the need to build and manage your own identity platform.

NHS login has a simple registration process. It allows users to keep their data secure when they access multiple health and social care services.

Last edited: 13 August 2019 4:02 pm