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.”