Information for commissioners

When commissioning digital health tools, there may already be a solution available. The NHS Apps Library brings together a range of apps and digital tools that have been assessed against national standards. They can be commissioned or potentially adapted to meet your requirements

Benefits of commissioning an existing app or digital tool

  • all apps and digital tools published on the NHS Apps Library have successfully met our technical standards in areas such as clinical safety, data protection and security
  • commissioning an app or digital tool that is already available is cheaper than developing one and can be implemented more quickly
  • existing solutions have often been implemented successfully by others, providing reassurance that they are effective

Things we are working on:

  • building an API that will provide information about relevant apps and digital tools and where they have been piloted
  • providing details of products currently under assessment to help prevent duplication

How we assess

Our Digital Assessment Questions make sure only safe and secure apps and digital tools are published on the Apps Library. Find out more about the assessment process here.

Help with innovating

  • if you need help and advice on commissioning, the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) are a good place to start. They have been set up to help spread health innovations quickly and effectively by bringing 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) has a budget impact template to help you understand the cost of implementing digital health solutions in your region. They also provide case studies which examine the effectiveness and economic impact of commissioned apps and digital tools. You can find links to the template and case studies in the 'supporting resources' section here

Help from other national initiatives

  • our work is part of a wider national initiative which aims to empower patients using digital technology in health and social care. An overview of the services can be found here
  • the Personal Health Records (PHR) toolkit supports health and care organisations in England to commission, develop or manage PHRs and other citizen-facing tools. Their interactive map provides information on organisations that are developing PHRs. We are working on adding information to the map about where apps and digital tools are being piloted
  • NHS login can be used to provide secure access to apps and websites. Its simple, one-time sign-up process allows users to access multiple health and social care services while keeping their data secure. It offers different levels of user verification to make sure users are who they say they are and removes the need to build and manage your own identity platform