A PCN in Cumbria will implement an app that talks to patients to assist them in optimising their own medicine use at home without requiring additional clinical time.

Eden PCN, which supports 54,000 patients, will deploy the Aide app to help improve management of long-term conditions, including asthma, type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

The plain-language app has short, daily ‘conversations’ with patients and is intended to help shared-decision making to reduce the need for unplanned visit to the surgery.

An NHS pilot for the app in North Yorkshire, which targeted patients with asthma and type 2 diabetes, saw users reach an adherence of 75%, compared to an average of 40% to 50%.

An Aide spokesperson said the ‘most improved patient’ in its NHS pilot in the over-70s group in the PCN saw adherence improve from less than 50% to 100% over a three and a half month window.

Dr Rachel Preston, clinical director at Eden PCN, said: ‘We are excited to be working with Aide to give our patients, especially those in more remote areas, the opportunity to use technology to improve the way they manage their long-term health condition. We hope that it will help to enhance the lives of patients living with asthma, diabetes and hypertension across the Vale of Eden, while also increasing their knowledge of these conditions and confidence in managing them successfully.’

Suffolk Primary Care – which is a part of two PCNs, East Suffolk PCN and Forest Heath PCN – has also applied the app to help in its management of long-term conditions.

Aide is priced based on the patient population of the PCN.

Almost a quarter of the rural population in England is over-65, and Age UK research has indicated that cuts to public transport have made it increasingly difficult for older people in remote areas to access their GP.

A version of this article first appeared on our sister title Pulse PCN.