A new breed of mobile healthcare apps for nursing and self-care of patients with chronic conditions promises to improve efficiency, patient safety and disease management.
mpro is used to schedule home visits by community nurses and allows nurses to report a range of patient checks and treatment via mobile devices, reducing form-filling and giving managers and clinicians a complete view of nurse activity and patient information.
The system was also chosen by the National Centre for Hereditary Coagulation Disorders in Dublin to support self-medication by patients with haemophilia. The centre, set up in response to the catastrophic contamination of blood products in the 1980s, commissioned the system to monitor medication use and provide clinicians with real-time information about bleeds and changes to treatment regimes.
The haemophilia app is the first clinical application in the world accredited to the GS1 standard used by the international logistics industry for track and trace. The app allows every batch of medication to be barcoded and checked against a database. Patients scan the barcodes using their phones before self-medicating and the system verifies that the medication matches the prescription, is in date and not on a recall list. The app further encourages the patient to enter critical information concerning the bleed such as the bleed site and its severity.
Barrie Whipp, Executive Chairman of Crimson Tide, the British company that developed mpro, says “The prime minister announced this month a new scheme to cut nurses’ paperwork and free them up to spend more time looking after patients. Mobile apps are the key to making that happen.
“Our mpro haemophilia app illustrates how mobile technology can give patients more freedom and help keep them safe. It was designed for adaptability and we are looking at versions for other chronic conditions.“
Crimson Tide recognises that user satisfaction is a critical factor in mobile applications, particularly in healthcare where they affect quality of life and patient safety.
Whipp says: “It’s not good enough just to provide technology that works. People have to be comfortable using it and it has to make a difference to their lives. We develop each app with the professionals and patients who use them, which is one reason why we get very high reported user satisfaction.
”Commissioners also like them because there are striking cost benefits in addition to the clinical benefits.”
Unlike free-standing apps, mpro apps are database driven enabling information to be managed and transmitted in real time. Each app is backed by a secure online portal where managers and clinical professionals can view information input by mobile users. Text or email alerts are used to prompt any action required as the result of data that exceed pre-defined thresholds.
mpro ensures security of patient data and Crimson Tide is migrating applications to Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform for maximum reliance and scalability. The apps, which run on a range of smartphones and tablet devices including those running Windows 8, Android and the Apple iPhone and iPad, continue to work when mobile reception is lost, automatically updating the relevant database when reception is restored.