A new crowdsourced digital service has been launched which promises to radically change care for long-term conditions.

HealthUnlocked uses artificial intelligence to provide individuals with a social prescription based on their condition and location.

The service, launched at the NHS Expo conference, provides people with a gateway to information and the support available in their local area from the NHS, social care, charities and voluntary sector.

The widget, which Clinical Commissioning Groups can embed into their websites and roll out across GPs, community care and hospital provider websites, also signposts users to free peer-to-peer and expert support available within relevant online communities.

Founded in 2009 by Matt Jameson Evans and Jorge Armanet,  HealthUnlocked launched in Europe back in 2010 and describes itself as "Europe’s fastest-growing social network for health".

“The UK has been a powerhouse of innovation in global healthcare,” said Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, national medical director of the NHS.

“We know that giving people the tools and information to better manage their own health will play an increasing role in improving the outcomes of our population in future.”

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The initial trial is taking place in South Devon and Torbay.

Sir Keogh added: “This has the potential to prevent unnecessary admissions, taking a load off the NHS and, more importantly, actually keeping somebody safe and feeling good.”

BusinessCloud is holding a ‘Transforming healthcare through technology’ conference on 23rd November in Lancashire.

Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital transplant registrar Pankaj Chandak will speak about his use of 3D printing in planning operations, among other speakers. You can register to attend here.

Dr Evans said of the HealthUnlocked launch: “By working together with the NHS, we are firmly placing technology and the web into a navigator role for people, where they have the tools to access support and information directly resulting in better health outcomes.

“We are bringing together the mountain of health and social care service information available, with expertise from patient organisations and expert patients to act as a supporting self care role to primary and secondary care delivery in the NHS.

“Effective uptake within the NHS could make potentially massive savings, whilst supporting quality services.”