York-based product development firm Netsells and Oxford Brookes start-up HandHeld Health are to partner on a new app to help COVID-19 patients in recovery get back to full fitness.

The app offers a personalised rehabilitation plan for each patient, selecting exercises while factoring any existing conditions or diseases.

It is designed to help the estimated millions of people who have contracted the virus worldwide and suffered from serious respiratory problems following the initial infection.

The app will guide users through the exercises, with ongoing monitoring and engagement to support and inspire progress.

HandHeld Health received a £50,000 grant from Innovate UK as part of a £40m government investment to fast-track new technology in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The team selected Netsells as a strategic technology partner to help design and develop the mobile applications for both iOS and Android.

Stan Windsor, Teaching Fellow for Sport and Coaching Sciences at Oxford Brookes, who is leading the team developing the app, said:“We chose to work with Netsells on this project for a number of reasons, firstly we were adamant that supporting British innovation was really important to us.

Secondly, Netsells had all the skills and previous experience we were looking for. They have worked on applications for the NHS and large corporate names. The team also clearly love what they do and a product always turns out better if the people working on it believe in the cause.”

The app is currently in development and due to go live later this summer. It will be made available to the public free of charge and it is hoped future updates to the app will benefit patients with other respiratory disorders.