Posted on March 28, 2024

getUBetter is an evidence-based, CE marked, digital self-management support platform for all common musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions and women’s pelvic health. It is now available across 17 integrated care systems (ICSs) to a total eligible population of over 20 million people.

getUBetter helps integrated care systems to provide digital-self-management support across their whole care pathway. It supports patients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, taking them through their recovery day-by-day and providing them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to self-manage. Support is provided through triage, advice, exercises, outcome measures, safety netting and referral when necessary.

The getUBetter digital self-management pathways are locally configured to each place within a health system and are made available to people wherever they connect with the system – in the community, primary or secondary care, for example GP practice, urgent care, pharmacy, or physiotherapy. The digital self-management support is suitable for 80% of all new, recurrent, or long-term conditions, including people on waiting lists.

The platform has been proven to reduce the need for prescriptions, follow-up appointments, referrals, and physiotherapy waiting lists, therefore helping to reduce inefficiencies and costs to the healthcare system.

Developed by Dr Carey McClellan, the getUBetter app launched in 2016, following support from the Health Innovation West of England through our popular Health Innovation Programme, run in partnership with SETSquared.

getUBetter has been demonstrated to offer a 4:1 return on investment for providers – for every £1 spent, getUBetter saves £4.20. getUBetter self-management support has also been recommended by NICE for use in the NHS.

In the last two years, getUBetter has grown from supporting two ICSs to 17, enhanced the scope of their MSK offering and developed a new digital self-management support package for women’s pelvic health.

getUBetter is now available across 38% of the country to a total eligible population of over 20 million.

The challenge

Common MSK conditions such as back pain have a massive impact on patients, the NHS, the workplace and the economy.

  • 20 – 30% of population will visit a GP every year for an MSK complaint.
  • MSK injuries and conditions account for 18-30% of all GP appointments.
  • A growing number of people on waiting lists remain unsupported .
  • The NHS spends £5 billion treating these conditions every year – 20% of this is overtreatment.
  • MSK complaints account for half of all days off work and cost the economy £7 billion every year.

There is an absolute need to provide digital solutions to enable MSK support and safety netting, increase capacity, reduce costs, enable MSK support whilst waiting and promote self-management.

As most MSK problems can be managed without specialist treatment, NICE, the NHS, and the Department of Health all recommend self-management support.

Digital health technology such as getUBetter can help to deliver a better service, by providing instant and constant access to a local care pathway, connecting people to support services available to them in their local environment.

Our approach

getUBetter is a digital self-management platform for all common MSK conditions and women’s pelvic health support that integrates with entire local care pathways and is provided to support patients alongside their routine care.

getUBetter transforms digital self-management at scale by supporting integrated care systems and health boards to provide digital self-management for their whole population. getUBetter educates and empowers people to trust their recovery, have the confidence to self manage, and utilise healthcare resources appropriately. This releases healthcare professionals’ capacity and cost pressure on the health system.

Carey McClellan, CEO getUBetter

getUBetter is safe and evidence-based – the platform promotes self-management but safety nets at scale, automating referrals to appropriate parts of the health system when needed. The support can be accessed wherever a patient connects with the health service, in traditional and non-traditional settings.

The app, developed by Dr Carey McClellan and launched in 2016, has been developed and deployed with our support.

Health Innovation West of England first supported Carey in 2013, very early on in his innovation journey, with support around ownership of his intellectual property. Then in 2015, he secured a place on our Health Innovation Programme (HIP).

We have continued to support Carey from development through to deployment and scale – connecting him to relevant organisations and helping him to write funding bids, including successful bids for SBRI phase one and two funding.

Health Innovation Network South London has also supported Carey with deployment across the South and South West London.

In 2021, getUBetter secured a place on DigitalHealth.London’s accelerator programme, supported by the three London health innovation networks, and was named Alumni company of the year 2022.

Dr Carey McLellan is one of the 2022 cohort of NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellows, to receive three years of support to scale getUBetter up across England’s NHS, for the benefit of patients and staff.

getUBetter’s ongoing work with South West London ICS to better understand and minimise digital exclusion we were awarded funding by NHS England as part of their Digital Inequalities Pioneer Programme.

getUBetter’s innovative collaboration with South West London and South West London Integrated Care System won the HealthTech Partnership of the Year category at the HSJ Partnership Awards 2023, recognising their outstanding dedication to improving healthcare and effective collaboration with the NHS.

“getUBetter’s whole pathway approach to self-management means it can be locally configured to suit the target population. Condition pathways can be modified to suit the unique requirements of an individual service. This adaptability ensures that the platform remains relevant and applicable to patients, enhancing their engagement and overall experience.”

Jack Grodon, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist, South East London ICS

Impacts to date

Patient impact

getUBetter is now available across 38% of the country, covering an eligible population of 20+ million people, including 80% of London.

  • 79,000 patients have been supported by getUBetter to date.
  • 86% of patients would recommend to others.
  • 100% of patients feel the app helps recovery.

Economic impact

Independent economic evaluation has demonstrated a potential cost saving of up to £1.96 million per year per integrated care system for use of getUBetter with back pain alone.

getUBetter has been demonstrated to offer a 4:1 return on investment for providers – for every £1 spent, getUBetter saves £4.20 (NHS MSK Digital Playbook case study).

In the last three years, getUBetter has grown from supporting two ICSs to 17 and has seen a five-fold increase in the size of its team.

In 2019, getUBetter successfully secured £99,420 of SBRI Healthcare funding through phase one of its Musculoskeletal Disorders competition, and a further £860,897 in phase two.

The company has enhanced the scope of their offering, further personalising their MSK digital self-management support for users, as well as developing new core package: digital self-management support for women’s pelvic health.

Clinical impact

getUBetter has been recommended by NICE as one of the five digital health technologies to be used by the NHS to help manage non-specific low back pain in people 16 years and over. Read more here.

Evaluations have also demonstrated:

  • 20% fewer physiotherapy referrals
  • 13% fewer MSK GP appointments
  • 50% fewer MSK prescriptions
  • 66% less Urgent Care attendance
  • Supports behaviour change (Berry et al. 2020, 2022)
  • 50% of patients on a physio waiting list no longer needed an appointment (Somerset evaluation 2022)
  • 40% fewer physio appointments
  • Patients develop better understanding of their conditions and recovery journey (HIN report, 2021)

More information is available on the getUBetter website.


 In 2023, getUBetter’s innovative collaboration with South West London and South West London Integrated Care System won the HealthTech Partnership of the Year at the HSJ Partnership Awards 2023, recognising their outstanding dedication to improving healthcare and effective collaboration with the NHS.

In the following video, Dr McLellan talks about the getUBetter platform, its impact to date and the support received from Health Innovation West of England. You can watch it here or below.


“It gave me reassurance when I was worried about my pain and helped me manage my expectations about the speed of recovery”. Patient

“The app is a great complement to seeing a GP or as an alternative” Patient

“I think it is a fantastic resource on its own but also because patients can then be referred on through the Wandsworth pathway directly.” GP, Wandsworth

“We see the ever-expanding app as a major part of our service redesign going forward.” Jim Fenwick, CEO Battersea Healthcare

Next steps

The team are in talks with several care systems and will be expanding getUBetter’s reach, making it available to more people.

In terms of product development, getUBetter have recently enhanced the scope of offering for MSK digital self-management support by adding targeted support for patients on waiting lists, pain, work, and arthritis. They are currently working on foot, wrist, and hand pathways. Next steps include the launch of our MSK pain support add on, the development of additional women’s pelvic health pathways – menstruation and menopause support, as well as men’s pelvic health.

Find out more about getUBetter here.

For further information, email Alex Leach, Deputy Director of Programmes, Health Innovation West of England at

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