The Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications (ORCHA) is the trusted source for health app advice. By increasing access to clinically effective health apps, building awareness of their benefits, and advising on how to safely incorporate apps into care pathways, ORCHA empowers health professionals, organisations and patients to safely embrace digital health.

Part of NHS England’s NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA), ORCHA provides impartial advice to health bodies across the world. ORCHA works with CCGs, NHS Trusts and local authorities throughout the UK, and is expanding internationally to support the delivery of approved apps on a global scale. ORCHA helps the NHS to increase clarity and trust in digital healthcare delivery.

ORCHA helps health bodies across the world tackle the challenge of integrating mHealth into their health and social care services. Its unique app evaluation service can meet the scale of the market, pace of development and breadth of test requirements. Consequently, ORCHA monitors and assesses more health apps than anyone in the world.

With over 365,000 health apps available, ORCHA’s 226-point App Review process breaks through the noise of unregulated and untrustworthy apps. It is vital that health and care professionals are armed with the tools to integrate digital health safely and effectively within everyday practice, but there are a number of key barriers to mHealth adoption. ORCHA addresses challenges such as access, awareness, trust and governance of health apps by providing an extensive App Library in which healthcare professionals can search for and subsequently recommend appropriate apps to their patients. As at June 2019, ORCHA has reviewed over 4,720 apps and scored them according to their Data Privacy, Clinical Effectiveness and User Experience.

Further, ORCHA has provided many CCGs, Trusts and local authorities with their own microsite, including an app library specific to the needs of their local populations. Recently, ORCHA partnered with NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG, Bradford City CCG and Bradford Districts CCG to provide them with a bespoke, local app library to increase the utilisation of digital health.

Through their CCG’s microsite, ORCHA also arms healthcare professionals with an ORCHA Pro Account. This includes a digital prescription tool that allows them to quickly and easily recommend the best apps to patients, according to individual health needs. We spoke to Dr Taz Aldawoud, Bradford GP and Clinical Board Member, about the impact of implementing ORCHA’s Solution in General Practice. He explained that ORCHA gives health professionals ‘the confidence and assurance to be able to [recommend apps to their patients that are] safe, secure and effective’. Thus, with the aim of empowering populations to actively utilise and embrace digital care, ORCHA helps different clinical services to support patients in achieving better health-ownership through the use of reliable healthcare apps.

By providing a range of digital health solutions to organisations and professionals, ORCHA facilitates the successful integration of digital care into patient pathways, thereby allowing health and care services to become more patient-centred.

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