London Ambulance Service to enable ambulance clinicians to access patient information on the move, without a Smartcard

NHS Digital | April 2019 | Ambulance clinicians to access patient information on the move, without a Smartcard

London Ambulance Service has started a pilot to enable its clinicians to securely access Summary Care Record data on an iPad, without the need for a smartcard or N3, by using the new NHS Identity Service to authenticate to the system.

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NHS Digital has developed the pilot, which will use Camden Ambulance Station as an initial user base. Around 60 medics will have access to patients’ summary care record (SCRs) and additional information securely on their iPads. This includes vital information about a patient’s medical history such as details of long-term conditions, significant medical history, ongoing prescriptions, known allergies and any other specific needs.

This is a major first step for the pilot project, which aims to show that the Summary Care Record is accessible through a mobile device anywhere, without the need for a smartcard.

The pilot will last 16 weeks which will provide project teams with vital information and feedback about the products. This will be essential for ongoing product development, counting benefits experienced from a technical and end user perspective.

Full details from NHS Digital 

NHS staff and parents to gain access to crucial child health information

NHS Digital | April 2019 | NHS staff and parents to gain access to crucial child health information

A new live service which enable access to important child health information at the point of care for health professionals has been launched by the NHS.

The service, the National Events Management Service, securely publishes information on key health interventions for children. Parents and health professionals can securely receive information digitally and use it to inform decisions on care and treatment, the service is the result of collaboration between NHS Digital and NHS England with IT suppliers.

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The service shows which preventative interventions a child has received; improving the speed of diagnosis and treatment by giving health visitors and parents access to the same information sources at the same time.

The service has initially launched in North East London in partnership with North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) and their health visiting and child health services. IT suppliers which already support the Trust have connected their products to the new service.

Full details from  NHS Digital

 

WHO Guideline: recommendations on digital interventions for health system strengthening

World Health Organization | April 2019 | WHO Guideline: recommendations on digital interventions for health system strengthening

WHO (World Health Organization) has recommended 10 ways in which countries can use digital health technology, accessible via mobile phones, tablets and computers, to improve people’s health and essential services. The document Recommendations on digital interventions for health system strengthening

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Image source: apps.who.int

The key aim of this guideline is to present recommendations based on a critical evaluation of the evidence on emerging digital health interventions that are contributing to health system improvements, based on an assessment of the benefits, harms, acceptability, feasibility, resource use and equity considerations. For the purposes of this version of the guideline, the recommendations examine the extent to which digital health interventions available via mobile devices are able to address health system challenges at different layers of coverage along the pathway to universal health coverage (UHC). By reviewing the evidence of different digital interventions, as well as assessing the risks against comparative options, this guideline aims to equip health policy-makers and other stakeholders with recommendations and implementation considerations for making informed investments into digital health interventions.

This guideline urges readers to recognize that digital health interventions are not a substitute for functioning health systems, and that there are significant limitations to what digital health is able to address.

  • birth notification via mobile devices
  • death notification via mobile devices
  • stock notification and commodity management via mobile devices
  • client -to-provider telemedicine
  • provider-to-provider telemedicine
  • targeted client communication via mobile devices
  • digital tracking of patients’/clients’ health status and services via mobile devices
  • health worker decision support via mobile devices
  • provision of training and educational content to health workers via mobile devices (mobile learning-mLearning)  (Source: WHO)

Full details from WHO

Research finds,”Mobile apps are effective tools for weight loss management and sustaining such loss when compared to standard interventions”

Alnuaimi, A., Rawaf, S., Hassounah, S., & Chehab, M. |2019 |Use of mobile applications in the management of overweight and obesity in primary and secondary care |JRSM Open | https://doi.org/10.1177/2054270419843826

A new systematic review (SR) published in the JRSM Open analysed studies which used apps on mobile devices in the management of obesity in adults in primary and secondary care settings; the SR’s findings indicate  that  these apps have the potential to facilitate the management of weight loss among overweight and obese individuals.

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Summary

Mobile technology has emerged as a potentially useful application in the process of facilitating weight loss management. While several empirical studies have demonstrated the positive effects of mobile-based interventions, the extent of such effectiveness is still a topic of debate. Thus, the current systematic review involved searching electronic databases for studies on the use of mobile app-based interventions in the management of overweight and obesity among adults over 18 years of age in a primary and secondary care setting. The results of the review revealed that mobile apps are effective tools for weight loss management and sustaining such loss when compared to standard interventions. However, further research is needed to consider the sustained benefits and the applicability of mobile app-based interventions for large-scale population coverage.

The journal article is available from JRSM Open

Digital tool to help reduce avoidable lengthy stays in hospital

NHS England | April 2019 | Digital tool to help reduce avoidable lengthy stays in hospital

A new digital tool has been developed to enable staff to easily identify care homes that have spaces for patients, this will save hours spent phoning to determine if there is availability.

The new portal, being introduced by councils and the NHS, will mean that patients who require a care home placement will be supported to leave hospital sooner.  The tool has been trialled in the North, Devon and Berkshire last year,  with over 6000 care home already signed up to use it and now thousands more can sign up to use it.

The Capacity Tracker- a digital portal- is accessible on any device, and takes care homes just 30 seconds to upload details of their available beds, helping health and social care staff to find the right services for individual patients, including those with dementia or a learning disability.

Further information is available at NHS England 

LIFE a new smartphone app to train healthworkers to save lives

University of Oxford | April 2019 | LIFE a new smartphone app to train healthworkers to save lives

Life-saving Instruction for Emergencies (LIFE) is a free 3D simulation training app for smartphones developed by a research group based at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust – Kenya and Oxford University. 

The app is scenario-based and teaches healthcare workers to identify and manage medical emergencies using game-like training techniques to reinforce key steps that need to be performed to save lives.

The app was launched at the  Kenya Paediatric Association 2019 annual conference in Mombasa, Kenya.

The first three scenarios available for LIFE teach healthcare workers how to resuscitate a newborn baby (source: University of Oxford).

The app is available for Android 

It can also be downloaded from the OXlife project 

See also Health Informatics Forum 

Using digital technology to design and deliver better mental health services

NHS Confederation | March 2019 | Using digital technology to design and deliver better mental health services

A new report from NHS Confederation focuses on what the UK can learn from two very different healthcare systems – Australia and the United States of America- and the way they utilise digital technology to design and deliver better mental health services (Source: NHS Confederation). 

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Image source: nhsconfed.org

Using digital technology to design and deliver better mental health services