Docs and devs: Health secretary wants healthcare apps
Death, taxes and nurses
Health secretary Andrew Lansley has launched a call for new ideas for health apps to help patients make informed decisions about their care.
The invitation is open to healthcare professionals and app developers. Lansley cited an existing example of what could be done, the Choosing Well app developed by NHS Yorkshire and Humber which enables people to search for their nearest NHS services.
The Department of Health said any ideas, which can also extend to online maps, should relate to one of five themes: personalisation and choice of care and support; better health and care outcomes; autonomy and accountability; improving public health; and improving long term care and support.
A spokeswoman for the department said: "We will not be announcing any funding for the development of the best health apps. We want to promote the best apps that people tell us work for them, and envisage that app developers and the technology industry want to develop the best ideas."
Lansley also asked people to name their favourite existing health applications. Ideas can be submitted at www.mapsandapps.dh.gov.uk.
"We want to give people better access to information that will put them in control of their health and help make informed choices about their healthcare," Lansley said.
"Over the next six weeks, we want to hear from patients, health professionals and budding app developers on their ideal new app. This is a unique opportunity for the NHS and those who develop apps to not only showcase their work but bring to life new ideas and realise true innovation in healthcare."
The ideas will be judged by a panel including Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS medical director, Dr Shibal Roy, investigator at the National Institute for Health Research; Jennie Ritchie-Campbell, director of cancer services innovation at Macmillan Cancer Support; and Julie Meyer, a judge on TV programme Dragon's Den. They will chose a group of apps to be showcased at an event during the autumn.
This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.
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Now call me old-fashioned...
But I don't want apps, I don't particularly want 'choice', I want bloody treatment.
Stop messing around and get some doctors and nurses on the wards. Stop pretending that triage by a doctor instead of a nurse followed by a three hour wait, or defining corridors with trolleys on as wards, are a sensible way to meet pointless targets.
There's plenty of useful things a middle manager can be doing, I'm sure; bound to be lots of places that aren't being cleaned properly because you've employed minimum salary folk with no interest in the job to tick the boxes...
I remember last year when MRSA particularly hit the headlines and hospitals got extra money for doing a "deep clean". What didn't get enough publicity was that if food production companies were using the same cleaning methods as hospitals (dirty water in a dirty bucket with a dirty mop), those food production companies would have been shut down. Hygiene is a solved problem - but it's a solved problem that requires a certain level of professionalism, training and equipment.
I don't want much. I don't mind paying extra for optional treatments like plastic surgery. I don't mind paying extra for a private room if I happen to want one. Hell, I wouldn't even mind paying extra for having a high-risk lifestyle (as an ex-hang-glider and ex-rock-climber). People seem to forget that the NHS isn't there to do *everything* for you treatment-wise, only to guarantee a decent minimum level of care. But we *do* want a decent minimum level of care. And we do *not* want to come out of hospital in a worse state than we went in as a result of failures by the hospital staff.
How about an app that...
... automatically fires grossly incompetent ministers? That'd get rid of Lansley, Osborne, Cable, Alexander, May, Cunt, Clegg, Cameron, etc and save the country a whole whack of money while simultaneously improving dramatically peoples' mental well-being at the same time.