ISBN : 9789264202863 (PDF) ; 9789264202856 (print)
DOI : 10.1787/9789264202863-en
The future sustainability of health systems will depend on how well governments are able to anticipate and respond to efficiency and quality of care challenges. Bold action is required, as well as willingness to test innovative care delivery approaches.
The greatest promise for transformational change is in applications that encourage new, ubiquitous, participatory preventive and personalised smart models of care. A whole new world of possibilities in using mobiles and the Internet to address healthcare challenges has opened up. The potential of mobile devices, services and applications to support self-management, behavioural modification and “participatory healthcare” is greater than ever before.
A key hurdle is, however, the big data challenge, dealing with the exponentially accelerating accumulation of patient data – all of which must be mined, stored securely and accurately, and converted to meaningful information at the point of care. In order to fully exploit the new smart approaches to care, acceptance, privacy and usability issues will also have to be carefully considered.
Doctors are now trading clipboards for powerful new tablets. As Apple, Google and other major providers are releasing new devices, the industry continues to grow.
When these devices give way to the next generation of instruments (Google Glass?), tablet computing will have developed a healthy relationship in the healthcare sector. They’re compact, portable and have all the basic computing functions on which doctors rely on.
Why doctors love tablets
Citing an article from Scoop.it, 62 percent of doctors in America now use tablet computers. The article also claims that most prefer the iPad, but many use a variety of other mobile devices in the workplace, as well.
One of the reasons doctors love tablets is the versatility of the device. At work, they can be used to access radiographic images, patient reports, and other essential information. Their graphical capabilities make it easy to see images in high detail and point things out to patients.
EHR (electronic health record) software allows physicians to access all relevant information with just a touch. This software doesn’t actually run on tablets – instead, it’s based on a different computer and simply allows the tablet to access it, according to HealthFusion.com.
After the workday ends, tablets are still useful for doctors. By now, app developers have created tablet utility in almost every aspect of life. Just like users from the general public, physicians can create a presentation on a tablet at work, and use the device as a cable TV guide with the DirecTV app at home.
SmartWard, the winner of a Telegraph competition for innovative mobile apps, has been awarded £50,000 by Seedcamp, a leading technology venture capital fund.
The smartphone and tablet app is designed to improve care in hospitals by digitising patient notes and alerting staff when to administer medicines and check vital measurements. It aims to reduce human error by reducing the chance of notes being lost or tasks being forgotten on wards when shifts change.
The new funding will allow Dr Michelle Teo, co-founder and chief executive of SmartWard, who currently works on an NHS cancer ward in Nottingham. She will to relocate to London and take charge of development of the software full time at Google Campus, an office space in Shoreditch owned by the web search giant.
“It’s really exciting,” she said. “The next step is to get a beta version up and running in about three months then we have to find more funding.”
SmartWard is already in talks to trial its software at an NHS hospital in Leicester.
The concept for the software and the team behind it came together at a weekend hosted by Telegraph Media Group in November as part of the Silicon Valley Comes to the UK series of entrepreneurial events. SmartWard came out top in the competition and received help turning the idea into a business, as well as introductions to investment bankers that led to the Seedcamp funding.
Seedcamp is a European “accelerator” fund founded by the Index Venures partner Saul Klein that offers cash and intensive mentoring to early-stage technology start-ups. Its British successes include Crashpadder, which was acquired by the room rentals service Airbnb last year, and Mobclix, a mobile advertising start-up sold to Velti for more than $50m in 2010.
“SmartWardApp has the potential to revolutionise patient care in hospitals,” said Edward Roussel, Telegraph Media Group’s executive editor, digital.
“It’s been exciting to watch the idea incubate in the Telegraph’s offices and then mature in just six months into a business that has impressed investors of the calibre of Seedcamp.”
Researcher Dr Isaac Bogoch, who specialises in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Toronto General Hospital, told the BBC he had read about smartphone microscopes being trialled in a laboratory and decided to “recreate it in a real world setting”.
“Ultimately we’d like something like this to be a useful diagnostic test. We want to put it in the hands of someone who might be able to use it,” he said.
“70% (accuracy) isn’t really good enough, we want to be above 80% and we’re not quite there yet,” he added.
“The technology is out there. We want to use materials that are affordable and easy to procure.”
ARGYLL, the UK’s leading provider of safeguarding services, today announced the launch of Companion, one of a new range of personal safety applications for Smartphones.
The app, which is the first of its kind on the market, converts compatible smartphones into a fully functioning personal safety solution with a dedicated SOS button.
Companion is complemented by SmartClip, a body worn clip-on accessory that looks like a simple hands-free or MP3 device but is in actual fact a discreet SOS button, connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth.
A user can trigger their Companion alarm by pressing a concealed button on the SmartClip hands-free device, which will automatically connect their smartphone to Argyll’s alarm receiving centre (ARC).
Glasgow City Mission, which runs a Winter Night Shelter for vulnerable and homeless adults, is one of the early adopters of the solution. Mitchum Bock, night shelter manager, said: “The app and device has to be simple, reliable and easy to use since it was used every night over the past two months by our staff, who must be prepared when confronted by violence, aggression and other emergency situations.”
Mitchum continued: “The operator within the ARC can listen to the situation and is able to speak discreetly, and without the aggressor’s knowledge, with our staff using the hands-free capability. The user is guaranteed police assistance if it is required and Companion will pinpoint the person using the app to within metres of their location.”
Tom Morton, founder and CEO of Argyll, which is based in Dunoon, Scotland, said he hoped the app would enable businesses to integrate vital lone worker safety services within mainstream business equipment and processes.
He said: “I’m delighted that the workers at Glasgow City Mission’s Winter Night Shelter chose to place their faith in our safeguarding solution.
“Traditional lone worker devices can be an expensive option to deploy and operate; by contrast the more cost-effective mobile phone options can become unsuitable for some business processes, Companion fills the current gap in the delivery of safeguarding solutions.
“Most businesses are already using or considering the deployment of smartphones; using the Companion app gives employers the chance to sweat their existing mobile assets, so all that is required is for that smartphone to be configured with the app and they are well on their way to satisfying their duty of care and without the need to purchase expensive lone worker devices and duplicate costs using associated sim cards. And fundamentally, the app will not drain battery life on your smartphone.”
Companion is the first in a new series of cost effective and modular apps for the smartphone market. It delivers tangible benefits and the use of an existing smartphone means that employers can save money without compromising on employee safety.
The app can be used independently of the SmartClip device, and will elicit the same response as the clip by pressing the power button on your handset three times. The SmartClip device operates in conjunction with your Companion smartphone application, over a range of up to 30m. It provides end users with discreet reassurance and a method for summoning assistance; opening a 2-way communications link to the nominated response centre.
A new campaign – run in partnership with Diabetes UK- shows how a new online tool called ‘MyDiabetesMyWay’, will help people with diabetes manage their conditions more effectively through videos, educational tools and games containing information about diabetes.
In a world first, the interactive website also allows people with diabetes to view their up-to-date clinic results, treatments and advice online.
Figures published in the annual Scottish Diabetes Survey today, show that the number of people with diabetes in Scotland continues to increase by around 10,000 each year. There are now over 247,000 people with diabetes in Scotland – 4.7 per cent of the population.
The majority of those people – 217,500, or 88 per cent – have type 2 diabetes which can often be caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices and is also more common in older people.
Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said:
“Diabetes is a growing problem for Scotland – around £300 million of hospital expenditure relates to diabetes treatment and the management of its complications.
“Now, everyone living with diabetes in Scotland has the opportunity to view their own clinical diabetes data online. And by having access to the right information, people can be supported to self manage and radically reduce the risk of developing complications and serious health problems.
“I would strongly encourage people living with diabetes to sign up and see for themselves how this valuable resource can support them to self manage their condition. Not only will this mean they can live longer, healthier lives it will also protect NHS resources.”
Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns said:
“The Scottish Diabetes Survey published today highlights the increasing number of people with diabetes that is directly related to the ageing of the population and unhealthy lifestyle factors such as obesity.
“We also need to maintain focus on preventing diabetes by tackling the underlying risk factors. Stopping smoking, eating better and taking regular exercise is something we can all do to make sure we are as healthy as possible.”
Director of Diabetes UK Jane-Claire Judson said:
“The relentless rise in people diagnosed means that diabetes deserves immediate attention as a major public health concern. Meeting the challenge of diabetes requires the NHS, Government and society overall to take action to improve our nation’s health and together we need to ensure that those already diagnosed have the best support and care available.”
“Even with the pressures of ever increasing numbers, as indicated today in the new Scottish Diabetes Survey, everyone diagnosed with diabetes is entitled to the best diabetes care possible. Diabetes UK Scotland has developed a set of 15 Healthcare essentials that all those living with the condition should receive. Making sure everyone with diabetes has access to these key services and support systems in place is vital for all those diagnosed.”