UK government promises a £650,000 mental health apps prize fund and an NHS kitemark programme for apps

Interesting news out of the UK in September:

Health and life sciences minister George Freeman has launched a £650,000 prize fund to develop mental health apps.

Speaking at the NHS Innovation Expo in Manchester, Freeman said mental health disorders affect one in four people and cost £105bn each year, and there is a great need to develop new digital services for those living with mental health issues.

“I’m delighted to announce that the government is pledging £650,000 to a new innovation prize to the development of digital tools to improve mental health outcomes,” he said. The fund will be held by NHS England.

Freeman also announced the development of the “world’s first endorsement model” for approved apps, which the government hopes will help the NHS to support new innovations.