Pharma insight on digital marketing, social media, mobile apps, online video, websites and interactive healthcare tools
by Dominic Tyer
The UK will next year replace its patient-focused NHS Choices website with an ambitious new self-care portal.
The new Health and Social Care Digital Service, formerly the snappily-titled Integrated Customer Services Platform (ICSP), will be a “multi-channel digital platform” and is due to come online in April 2014.
The vision behind it is to empower the public “to take more responsibility for their health and wellbeing” while positioning “digital services as a fundamental enabler in this transformation”.
In doing so it has also been suggested the new service could save the NHS more than £1bn is patients can be encouraged to make greater use of online technology.
Launched in 2007, NHS Choices is the leading health and social care information website in the UK, attracting one million unique visits each day. But the supplier contracts underpinning the services are now coming to an end, providing an opportunity to modernise the service.
To that end there are plans to expand its functionality and reach by introducing new channels for “participation and transactions” such as text messaging, apps, telephone and social media services.
Last month NHS England's national director for patients and information Tim Kelsey wrote to potential suppliers for the new service.
He said the service would be the “digital front door to health and care services for the majority of the population in the future and an integral component of primary care and long-term conditions strategies”.