The future is mobile

Mobile health apps can improve operating costs and increase NHS efficiency, conference hears

Mobile health apps can improve operating costs and increase efficiencies across NHS services, a conference heard.

Speaking at the 2016 Hospital Innovations Exhibition and Conference in London last week, Dr Rich Khatib, chief executive of Medopad, said mobile technology was picking up where telehealth and telecare innovations had left off, creating a new way for trusts to measure and monitor performance and enhance and improve services.

He added: “Mobile health is a bit simpler and more-cost-effective than telehealth devices and that’s what users have told us they want.

In the last five years, it is estimated, we have collected more data in healthcare than in the history of humankind, but we need to think ahead and look at how to harness that to drive the efficiencies we need to see in healthcare

“We face many challenges, including an ageing population and increasing prevalence of chronic disease and at the same time we are creating more and more data that we need to use better.

“In the last five years, it is estimated, we have collected more data in healthcare than in the history of humankind, but we need to think ahead and look at how to harness that to drive the efficiencies we need to see in healthcare.”

Most people are used to using smartphones and tablets, so he said apps needed to be simple to use and recognisable.

“If we use mobile apps then we can make better decisions based on up-to-date, accurate information and we can enhance care as a result,” he added.

Medopad is an example of mobile health technology - a single platform that delivers patient information and clinical applications straight into the palm of a doctor’s hand.

Khatib said: “Hospitals usually have legacy systems with each department having its own solutions, and these are very-complex environments. The issue, therefore, is giving everyone access to patient information at the point of care. That is what mobile health technologies, like Medopad, are doing.

“Doctors can use this to view results, and it allows clinicians to spend more time with their patients instead of going backwards and forwards from a computer screen to the bedside.

“It can also help to prioritise which patients are the most urgent.

“Our platform is already in a number of hospitals and we are expecting more to use it in the coming months.

The Government and the NHS is very aware of the key role technology will play moving forward and we are thrilled to be part of that revolution

“We are also looking at how our technology can evolve to meet future demands. We are looking at moving into patient monitoring. This would be an easy way to engage patients and help them to manage their own condition. It can also collect clinical data in real time and that is something we think will transform healthcare efficiency moving forward.”

The company is already using Apple watches and smartphones to help with cancer drug adherence and treatment and is looking to expand this into other chronic disease groups including asthma, epilepsy, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The app takes information weight and other parameters, enables patients to record details of their mood and symptoms, reminds them to take medication, and can also track movement.

“When attached to a patient’s electronic record, this is a very-important source of information”, said Khatib.

“It sits over and above existing systems, so does not disrupt them.

“The Government and the NHS is very aware of the key role technology will play moving forward and we are thrilled to be part of that revolution.”

Medopad is using Apple watches to help patients take control of their own care

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