Can mobile technology be the answer to some of the NHS’ most pressing issues?

The advantages of mobile technology within the health sector were highlighted recently in the news. (Hospital deaths fall with use of new software). Death rates at two large hospitals fell by more than 15% after nurses started using handheld computers instead of paper charts to record patients’ vital signs. This information was originally published in BMJ Quality & Safety, The International journal in Healthcare improvement, and stated that the drop in mortality represented more than 750 lives saved in a single year across the two sites.

According to an article published on Health 2.0 (Health Care Professionals Tapping into Mobile Devices by Tyana Daley), there are many applications for mobile technology within hospitals that can help improve administrative, technical and medical tasks. For example, mobile devices can quickly deliver medical records directly into the hands of the health care team or they can help illustrate test results to patients. Hospitals can also use them to train staff.

Following the publication of the Francis report last year, which highlighted the fact that not enough emphasis was put on training, a number of Trusts have invested in e-learning platforms. Many, like our customer UCLH (University College London Hospitals), have chosen open-source e-learning platforms which allow their staff to access training at any time from anywhere. With the increase of mobile devices, staff will be able, in the near future, to access training materials quickly wherever there are within the hospital as well as continuing their training on their own devices at home or on their commute.

As handheld devices become more easily available and performant, it is highly likely that staff within the healthcare sector will be using mobile technology to carry out tasks which they previously performed from behind a desk. From saving lives to training personnel, there is most definitely an opportunity for the Trusts to use mobile technology to help achieve their goals and values.

UCLH Case Study