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Patients call for apps to help them make GP appointments and view personal medical records

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Health apps make GP appointments, receive test results and view personal medical records top the wish list for smartphone and tablet users, according to online market research conducted via YouGov by communications agency Ruder Finn.

An app that could make an appointment with the GP was the most desired (42 per cent) health app among consumers with smartphones and/or tablets, the online survey of 1,200 respondents revealed. A total of 31 per cent requested an app for receipt of test results, while 30 per cent wanted a resource that enabled them to view personal medical records. But the survey revealed there is less interest in apps that monitor or manage long-term health conditions (12 per cent and 9 per cent respectively).

While there was interest in health and healthy living apps, Ruder Finn's survey found that currently, these were the least used of all apps (9 per cent); apps for social media were by far the most popular (54 per cent) followed by games (42 per cent) and news (42 per cent).

Ruder Finn has used YouGov's findings as the foundation for its inaugural mHealth report, launched today. The report looks at the impact of the research findings on the development of mHealth apps - both for consumers and clinicians. The news comes less than a week after Tim Kelsey, national director for patients and information at the NHS Commissioning Board Authority, challenged the NHS to be paperless by 2015. His speech followed a pledge by health secretary Jeremy Hunt to invest £100 million in technology for nurses to reduce form-filling and increase the time they can spend with patients.

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