NHS Test Bed site to determine impact of SOS UK app on emergency care
People across South Yorkshire are being offered the opportunity to test the SOS UK phone app, which could potentially help healthcare professionals learn about allergies, conditions or other important facts about patients in the event of an emergency.
The app, which is being offered free of charge to users as part of the Perfect Patient Pathway NHS Test Bed project, also has the potential to alert next of kin or emergency contacts to a person’s whereabouts in an emergency situation.
The SOS UK app is one of a number of technology solutions that are being tested alongside new ways of delivering healthcare as part of the Perfect Patient Pathway Test Bed programme.
The pathway is one of only seven in the country chosen to be a national Test Bed pilot site by NHS England.
The sites bring together GPs, hospitals, care homes and others to work with technology companies to see how new combinations of products and processes could improve patient care.
The project involving the SOS UK app is one of six projects being undertaken by the Perfect Patient Pathway Test Bed across South Yorkshire.
The SOS UK phone app is free to download for the patient or carer to create a health record, showing the information they want to share in an emergency such as allergies, medicines, long-term conditions, and/or special needs.
The app then creates a unique QR code that can be saved to the phone lock screen or printed on an emergency card via the app.
The Test Bed is an exciting programme that allows us to see whether combining all sorts of new technologies with new ways of working can further improve patient care
The app does not automatically link to any health organisations and there is no requirement for health professionals to review information entered into the SOS UK app. But, if a paramedic or A&E doctor/nurse has the technology available to them, they can scan the code using any QR code scanner or the camera on an iPhone /iPad, and have instant access to the details the patient or carer has voluntarily entered.
It is envisaged this would be useful for circumstances where the patient may not be able to tell the healthcare professional this information themselves, perhaps due to being unconscious or if they cannot recall important information.
The app also immediately notifies a user’s emergency contacts where they are when the code is scanned, or when the user taps the SOS UK emergency call button.
Liz Howarth, South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Perfect Patient Pathway Test Bed programme director, said: “The Test Bed is an exciting programme that allows us to see whether combining all sorts of new technologies with new ways of working can further improve patient care.
"We are offering people across South Yorkshire the opportunity to try out the SOS UK app, so that we can evaluate whether it is a good tool for improving people’s health.”
The SOS UK is available from both the iTunes and Google Play app stores for download free of charge up until 1 December this year.
Dr Bettina Experton, founder and chief executive of Humetrix, which helped to develop the app, said: “In partnership with the Perfect Patient Pathway Test Bed, we very much value the opportunity to offer the SOS UK app to the people of South Yorkshire so they will have their critical health information available at all times to share with emergency responders and provide them the ability to have their loved ones notified in the event of an emergency.”