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Healthcare leaders call for greater mobile adoption

UK health and social care professionals call for greater use of mobile technology in industry

healthcare IT

The healthcare industry must make better use of mobile technology to aid quality of care, increased productivity and ensure the welfare of staff, a panel of health and social care professionals said.

The role of mobile technology was discussed at a panel discussion hosted by TotalMobile in London this week, with pioneers of mobile technology in the health and social care sector calling for better use of the technology.

Julia Clarke, chief executive of community health service provider Bristol Community Heath CIC, said: "Mobile is a revolution I think people have been happy to join in with and it's certainly improved the way we work internally.

"There has been major changes for both the staff but also in the way we can provide care, which we see as delivering quality, productivity, staff welfare and patient well-being benefits. Big change in a positive way."

Continuing to address the delay in mobile gaining widespread acceptance throughout the NHS, she put forth that systems built years before, and inherited by today's workforce, were not designed with clinicians in mind.

"Instead," she said, "they were designed for reporting purposes for a wide range of different sorts of organisations, mental health, community and so on which might be fine for a back office system, but no good for a district nurse out with patients."

Integration is now a key concern for supporters of using mobile technology in healthcare facilities, Sarah Royles, service development manager at Nottinghamshire County Council, summarises, though this remains a sizeable challenge moving forward.

"[There's] a need for more openness in terms of exposing APIs, exposing important patient data requirements that need to be built into contracts plus defined at the policy level so as to make UK health and social care an open level playing field so our systems can interoperate with each other," said TotalMobile's chief technology officer, Gareth Tolerton.

Considering the benefits for patients, Royles said: "There are definitely benefits for our patients and when asked they say its use makes them feel more involved in their care."

"The ability to have a nurse with the information to hand being able to avoid admissions into the acute sector is great for any and all patients being treated at home as well as for the taxpayer," added Graham Softley, associate director of IT strategy and delivery for Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

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