The digital health market has mushroomed in recent years, with new apps emerging on a daily basis offering services of varying quality.  In a bid to sort the wheat from the chaff, the University of Manchester have launched a new website for their Health eResearch Centre.

The facility, which was opened by Life Sciences Minister George Freeman, aims to provide a central northern hub for the best digital health research in the world.

The hub aims to be the go to resource for all things digital health, with recent stories including the citizen science project Cloudy With A Chance Of Pain, which aims to test any connection between the weather and arthritis, or Clinical Touch, which is a resource for those with mental health issues.  It’s hoped that the centre will help to connect citizens and patients with care providers to enable better prevention and management through the effective use of technology.

The development of the collaborative facility has been welcomed by those from across government, academia, industry and the NHS, with Manchester leading the way in digital health.

Life Sciences Minister George Freeman MP said: “It is fantastic to see Manchester playing a central role in developing new 21st century innovations, supported by our annual investment of £1bn through the National Institute for Health Research. By shifting the digital power to patients we are allowing them to monitor their own health through things like wearable devices and apps.

“The Academic Health Science Network is helping to drive forward the Northern Powerhouse in Manchester which is supporting the local needs of the health and social care services.”

Ian Greer, Vice-President and Dean of Medical and Human Science Faculty at The University of Manchester said: “Vast amounts of data are collected every day by health care organisations across Greater Manchester. Used together and responsibly, this is a mine of information which can improve public services, develop new treatments and save time and money.

“Greater Manchester is a leader in this emerging field, so we were very happy that the minister is speaking to us and learn how what we are doing here can be applied further afield.”