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NHS services iPhone app launched


NHS Bristol has launched an iPhone app to give patients information about local NHS services.

The application features details of each health service in Bristol, its contact information and GPS location.

Other features include an “in case of emergency” option, an appointment reminder service and recorded messages with instructions on how to deal with specific health emergencies.

Deborah Evans, NHS Bristol chief executive, said: “This application is a way for us to open services up to the public and provide genuine information and choice for patients. I’m excited at the way we can use new technologies to improve patient choice and I’m sure that the people of Bristol will feel the same way.”

The application was developed in partnership with Bristol-based company MyOxygenMobile and is in the process of being developed for the new ‘Android’ platform of mobile phones.

Andrew Farmer, MyOxygenMobile manager, said: “Developing this app with NHS Bristol has been really exciting. We are now working on the emerging Android version so it’s a really progressive piece of work.

“We focused on making the application clear and accessible using familiar icons and images to help the user. We feel the application is great for the people of Bristol, a perfect way of using new technology and we are keen to see how successful it will be.”

The application uses GPS to locate the phone user and all NHS Bristol locations so patients can find their way to services.

It also features a reminder service for appointments. The developers say this feature could help chip away at the estimated £180m the NHS nationally loses in missed GP appointments every year.

If the phone user is confronted with an emergency situation, the application also contains a number of audio guides to aid support. While not a substitute for a first-aid course, this could help users until an ambulance comes.

Hugh Annett, Bristol’s director of public health, said: “This application is one of the most exciting developments in health I’ve seen for years. The service finder means that you will never have to search the whole web for a NHS Bristol service again.

“The app is so easy to use and above all really useful. I hope that everyone who has an iPhone and lives in Bristol or is visiting Bristol will download the application and share it with family and friends, it could save someone’s life.”


Readers' comments (2)

  • This is a good achievement, however I'd temper the excitement on three points:
    [1] Shouldn't the benefit and usage be proven on iPhone before developing on Android?
    [2] iPhone is an exclusive market as is Android - what about mobile for the majority of users on mobile out there?
    [3] Now you've built the platform framework, can you make this available to other NHS organisations interested in using it so they don't have to pay out the same £30K est costs you did?

    Also, I'm sorry to add but if you don't allow iPhone to use your current location, the map search is of now value and contains a message box with a typo.

    test test test

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  • Hi, my name is Lawrie Jones and I led the development from NHS Bristol. I thought I would log in to answer your questions.

    1) The development cost was minimal and the partnership involved MyOxygen providing development on Android for free, but I appreciate the need to prove that this technology works for the patient - hence this being a very small-scale pilot.

    2) The iPhone and Android platforms are the only ones that will support this technology. Again, I must reiterate that this is a small pilot using new technology it will not replace the main methods of communication. Having said that, mobile technology is a growing market with an estimated 2.5 million iPhone users and it would be silly for the PCT not to engage users in new and emerging technology particularly when it benefits patient choice.

    3) The platform is available for free to other NHS organisations if they contact me directly.

    To note, the development of this pilot project was a fraction of £30,000.

    I appreciate your feedbaack with regards a typo and will rectify this in a future iteration.

    If you would like to contact me outside of this forum my details are freely available on the NHS Bristol website.

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