Developing the NHS App Library

NHS Digital


The BETA NHS App Library is designed to help patients make better choices and self manage their health conditions using digital tools, to help reduce the strain on frontline healthcare services.

Working alongside Wilson Fletcher and the NHS Digital team we developed the NHS Apps Library BETA in a matter of weeks to meet political commitments. The service focuses on providing the public with self care apps, from managing diabetes to mental health support and advice. The NHS needed to clearly label apps they had reviewed and tested, building trust and removing confusion around finding the right app for each condition.

"In 2018 the App Library hit 70 healthcare apps, providing digital patient support across a number of health conditions"

- NHS Digital

The service is part of the NHS.UK transformation work that will take existing services and make them digitally accessible online. It aims to make healthcare available to anyone at anytime through the use of digital applications, just like the applications people use everyday for the other aspects of their lives.

The Apps Library is acting as an exemplar for the transformation process. It had to show how the NHS.UK brand and digital transformation guidelines could be used to deliver a successful digital product.

NHS Apps Library

To ensure the platform was accessible to as many people as possible, a number of factors had to be taken into account based on the traffic the service would experience. The service must be:

  • Fully functional without javascript.
  • Compatible with a wide range of browsers.
  • Compatible with legacy browsers.
  • Responsive across multiple devices.
  • Built with accessibility as a priority.
  • Maintainable by the existing NHS team.
  • Content managed by people without a technical background.

"The Apps Library has been a proven success having over a quarter of a million views in 2017, of which over half were from mobile phones"

- Juliet Bauer (NHS Digital)

The service was built using the Umbraco CMS which is based on Microsoft .NET technologies to align with existing skill sets of the NHS Digital team. The library continues to grow and empower patients to take control of their own health.

If you would like to know more about accessible digital services or would like some advice about making your service accessible, get in touch with us at info@vix.digital.

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