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UK: Smartphone App Launched for Healthcare Workers
Source: publictechnology.net
Source Date: Friday, October 01, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Country: Europe
Created: Oct 05, 2010

Community nurses, midwives, and other healthcare professionals will benefit from a new BlackBerry app aimed at securely delivering patient data to their mobile device, enabling them to spend more time on front-line patient care.

The ‘Patient in your Pocket’ software features comprehensive functions for healthcare workers, including up-to-date patient information and the ability to enter new data directly into the device, dictating notes or filling in forms using a ‘digital’ pen. Patient data confidentially protected through the use of smartcards and data encryption. 
The personal safety of healthcare workers is another feature of the application, which includes an ‘activity monitoring system’ that enables users to register expected times with a call centre. If the time is exceeded without contact from the user, an alarm is sent to trained operators who will “assess the situation and engage the appropriate services”.
Commenting on the launch Andrew Spence, UK director of healthcare strategy at CSC, said ‘Patient in your Pocket’ played “strongly to the Department of Health’s agenda of ‘doing more with less’”.
He added, “In addition, it reduces the cost of buying laptops and the associated risk of theft. With the NHS facing the challenges of an ageing UK population, and a higher incidence of chronic disease and long term conditions, the use of technology enabling collaborative care is going to be essential to managing this growing problem.”
Daniel Morrison-Gardiner, UK Healthcare director at Research In Motion (RIM), argued mobile technology could be “incredibly helpful” in enhancing healthcare delivery and making services more patient-centric: “With CSC’s extensive knowledge of the healthcare market, and the power of the BlackBerry solution, Patient in your Pocket can play an important part in transforming the way healthcare professionals work and provide patient care.”
“When you are dealing with patient information, security is paramount,” added Morrison-Gardiner. “The CSC solution runs over the BlackBerry Enterprise Server so updates and upgrades can be centrally controlled and information, such as appointments and patient details, can be sent out and received within a secure environment.” 
CSC and RIM are currently working together with BigHand, Destiny, Guardian 24 and Inchware to bring the new service into operation.
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