The Healthy London Partnership (HLP) has launched a new app for iOS and Android that hopes to become an on-the-go health and well-being advice platform for 16-24-year-olds across the UK's capital.
The NHS Go app provides its intended user-base of young people with secure access to resources created by doctors and NHS healthcare professionals directly from their smartphone or tablet. The app is part of an initiative to enable London's young population "to have greater access to medical information."
The app works by adapting content from the NHS Choices website to suit its intended audience, with an built-in A-Z 'conditions' menu, a search bar for quick symptom checks and sections which offer advice on different topics such as physical fitness and healthy eating, smoking and drugs, depression and anxiety and also sex, LGBT health and relationships.
Using location data, NHS Go can also direct its users to nearby health services including gyms, hospitals with A&E facilities and sexual health clinics.
All of the app's features are described as being anonymous and confidential, with the chief executive of the Association for Young People's Health Emma Rigby, noting that NHS Go "neither stores nor shares search history to give young people the freedom to search in confidence."
Russell Viner, the clinical director at Healthy London Partnership explained: "adolescence is a critical time for laying the foundation for good health and wellbeing in adulthood as we know that many lifelong health behaviours are set during this time."
"We've worked closely with youth organisations and young people from across London to develop a tool that helps them to better manage their health. They have told us that they want better access to health services and information without the challenge of having to trawl through endless pages of irrelevant information. NHS Go provides authenticated NHS choices information to young people in ways that want it and are most likely to use it."
NHS Go comes hot on the heels of an update to Google's Search app in the US which can now recognise search terms for general health symptoms and offer up corresponding sliding cards featuring a general overview of the condition, self-treatment options and further recommendations.
Despite being a HLP initiative focused on the needs of London's young residents, IBTimes UK has been informed that the app's functionality has been rolled out throughout the UK.