NHS should give smartphones to patients in remote parts of Scotland

‘Give patients smartphones’ call

Mobile phone apps are expected to be used increasingly by the health service

Giving cheap smartphones to patients living in remote and rural areas has been suggested as a way of providing faster and more cost effective care.

App designer Geoff Wilcock told BBC Radio Scotland’s Out of Doors programme it would give people access to software that could be created for the NHS.

Mr Wilcox said apps could aid in consultations and cut waiting times.

The Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare said patients expected greater use of technology.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) held a workshop on mobile phone applications last month.

The agency said that by 2014 it was expected that some 77 billion apps will have been downloaded from the Android and Apple phone markets.

Mr Wilcock, who took part in the workshop, said the NHS could provide patients with low-cost smartphones.

He said: “I am a diabetic and I quite easily sympathise with anyone who has to go on a two to three hour trip for a 20 minute meeting with a clinical nurse, or a doctor.

“Very expensive or valuable clinicians are also driving out for long periods to spend equally short times with the patient.”

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One thought on “NHS should give smartphones to patients in remote parts of Scotland”

  1. In many country areas throughout the UK mobile reception is often poor because it is not cost effective for the mobile operators to put in extra fill in transmitters as the phone and data traffic would be too light to ever get their money back.
    In addition smart phones usually have much poorer reception than standard mobiles as there is less space for antennas.

    The problem would then be be how to exchange information from/to patients. If they have the internet then wifi could be used but I suspect many older patients will not have the internet.

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