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Identification and assessment of digital technologies to assist with the NHS Health Check

This report describes the methods and findings from an analysis of the digital health marketplace to identify and assess existing digital products capable of delivering key elements of the NHS Health Check.

Evaluation of the heart age test

PHE commissioned the Centre for Health Development, Staffordshire University to conduct an evaluation of the heart age test (HAT). The HAT is an online test to indicate an individual’s potential cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk through estimated Heart Age, which can be compared to your actual age. The test aims to increase understanding of CVD risk, provide information and signpost individuals to resources, improve knowledge and understanding of CVD risk, and encourage individuals to take up the offer of an NHS Health Check.

This report will be of interest to researchers and policy makers, as well as local authorities and health care providers with a responsibility for CVD prevention.

The full paper can be found here.

A webinar discussing the findings from paper can be found here.

Practice examples of international digital products for cardiovascular risk assessment and management

The report identifies and describes: five digital products used internationally to assess, communicate and support users to take action to reduce their cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk; how the products were used; and the outcomes they achieved. Learnings from these practice examples are described in the context of England’s NHS Health Check. This report will be of interest to policy makers as well as local authorities which have responsibility for commissioning the NHS Health Check programme and organisations delivering the NHS Health Check.

The full paper produced by Public Health England can be found here.

NHS Health Check Digital Exemplar Work Stream: Current Status

Project pause

Working closely with many stakeholders of the NHS Health Check programme, the team successfully completed the discovery phase and began work on a pre alpha phase, this work was paused in August 2019 and will remain on pause throughout the broader review of the NHS Health Check programme.

The discovery phase report can be found here.*

The top tips for maximising the impact of the NHS Health Check can be found here.*

*the full manuscript which relates to these findings is currently under review in BMC Public Health

You can review our discovery phase activity via our postcards.  

NHS Health Check Digital Exemplar:

The NHS Health Check programme was selected as one of the eight Digital Exemplars. PHE’s national Digital, CVD Prevention and Behavioural Insight Teams are working in partnership to explore how digital technology could be used to support the NHS Health Check programme. Following an  “agile” approach to project management which follows the Government Digital Services (GDS) service manual.

The phases of a digital service are as follows. The links give more detailed information from the GDS Manual:

This is a new approach to the NHS Health Check programme using digital and service design with the view to improve prevention, early detection and management of non-communicable disease. It is important to note that there is no specific predicted product outcome of this work stream, the solutions will be developed to meet the needs identified during the discovery and alpha stages of the project.

Public Health England’s Digital Review

Public Health England underwent a Digital Review in August 2017 which made a series of recommendations to enable PHE to use technology and data to improve public health outcomes and deliver better services to our users. The ambitions  from the review are to digitally support the NHS prevention agenda, provide digital products to support local government, collaborate with commercial and other partners to ensure PHE is leading edge of digital innovation for public health and test new ways of working to enable PHE to become a more agile and innovative organisation.

Page reviewed: 17/03/2021