NHS App’s pilot results: renewing prescriptions good, making appointments…not so much

The NHS App, announced at the end of 2017, piloted in September-December 2018. It started with one GP practice in Liverpool and grew to 34 practices across England, eventually growing to 3,200 registered patients, exceeding its target registration group by over 1,200. The NHS report was issued on 8 April.

  • Most used the app to view their patient records. Unless the patient had given prior consent to their GP to view their full patient record, only a summary was available through the app. This will revert to full patient records with the ability to add to the record as the default by April 2020.
  • For the pilot users, they reported positively on the app for prescription renewals; it was used for 662 repeat prescriptions and was found by 87 percent to be ‘easy and convenient’ as well as the app’s ‘most useful service’.
  • On booking appointments, the feedback was not so positive. Users had difficulty understanding the jargon used in booking.
  • They also found the two-factor authentication for security purposes annoying. For the full implementation, the development team is planning to add a biometric log in.

The NHS hopes to roll out the app to all English GP practices by July 2019. While the app became available in December on Google Play and the Apple App Store, patients have to wait for their GP to connect to it. Mobihealthnews, NHS report site

A counterpoint to this is the final closing of the Microsoft HealthVault later this year. Users will have until 20 November to migrate their data. HealthVault was one of the first services to allow consumers to record and share electronic health data. Microsoft has already shut down two related services, HealthVault Insights and the Health Dashboard. Most of these storage services have shut down (Revolution Health, Google Health, Google Fit, Dossia) with the surviving Apple Health Records and GetReal’s Lydia. Mobihealthnews

Behave, Robot! DARPA researchers teaching them some manners.

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Overrun-by-Robots1-183×108.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Weekend Reading While AI is hotly debated and the Drudge Report features daily the eeriest pictures of humanoid robots, the hard work on determining social norms and programming them into robots continues. DARPA-funded researchers at Brown and Tufts Universities are, in their words, working “to understand and formalize human normative systems and how they guide human behavior, so that we can set guidelines for how to design next-generation AI machines that are able to help and interact effectively with humans,” said Reza Ghanadan, DARPA program manager. ‘Normal’ people determine ‘norm violations’ quickly (they must not live in NYC), so to prevent robots from crashing into walls or behaving towards humans in an unethical manner (see Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics), the higher levels of robots will eventually have the capacity to learn, represent, activate, and apply a large number of norms to situational behavior. Armed with Science

This directly relates to self-driving cars, which are supposed to solve all sorts of problems from road rage to traffic jams. It turns out that they cannot live up to the breathless hype of Elon Musk, Google, and their ilk, even taking the longer term. Sequencing on roadways? We don’t have the high-accuracy GPS like the Galileo system yet. Rerouting? Eminently hackable and spoofable as WAZE has been. Does it see obstacles, traffic signals, and people clearly? Can it make split-second decisions? Can it anticipate the behavior of other drivers? Can it cope with mechanical failure? No more so, and often less, at present than humans. And self-drivers will be a bonanza for trial lawyers, as added to the list will be car companies and dealers to insurers and owners. While it will give mobility to the older, vision impaired, and disabled, it could also be used to restrict freedom of movement. Why not simply incorporate many of these assistive features into cars, as some have been already? An intelligent analysis–and read the comments (click by comments at bottom to open). Problems and Pitfalls in Self-Driving Cars (American Thinker)

A telecare device that may solve the ‘soft fall’ and unconscious problems (UK)

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/MonitorGO-cropped-small-232×300.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Guy Dewsbury of the eponymous Gdewsbury independent research consultancy brought to this Editor’s attention his recent commission for West Yorkshire-based MonitorGo in evaluating their new smartphone-based personal alarm. He analyzed the device’s features here in a comparison chart and writeup, versus what is commonly available in the market. If it reliably does what it says it does (our normal caveat), it could be a big step beyond the Ur-Pendant, addressing our (and Neil Versel’s) concerns earlier this week on the persistence of ‘ancient history’ PERS [TTA 31 Mar].

It goes well beyond common mPERS as well. There are 12 features, including GPS location, hard fall detection and 24/7 third-party help line monitoring (via Medvivo), but the key differentiating features are the soft fall detector, unconsciousness/inactivity detection and false alert detection/response–as well as usability as a simplified smartphone with unlimited calls to UK landlines and 250 mobile-to-mobile minutes. (more…)

An alert watch for older adults that responds to voice commands

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/UnaliWear_Images_r6_c4.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]This Editor has been in Watch Overload (see Apple Watch) for months, but this may be an exception. The UnaliWear Kanega watch (in development) is for the sizable market of older adults who would wear a well-designed watch or band for safety assistance, but not one that screams Old Person With Plastic PERS, an objective shared with the latest edition of buddi [TTA 16 Dec 14]. Their prototype looks like a fairly techno steel watch, a little on the chunky side, but it packs in a lot: a 9-axis accelerometer for fall detection, a GPS locator, Bluetooth LE, cellular/Wi-Fi connectivity and a digital analog display with time and date. What’s unique: no buttons, smartphone or other tether. It works via speech recognition and ‘talks with’ the wearer (via mechanical voice, messaging on the display and a feed to a BLE hearing aid if worn.) (more…)

buddi wins £20 million in contracts, signs up with Care Innovations in US

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/lavender_set_34.jpg-buddi.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]buddi, a well-known UK personal tracker/tagger company, announced over the weekend that they have signed two contracts worth £20 million ($25.1 million). The first and most of interest is with Intel-GE Care Innovations for their new, quite attractive wrist-worn fall detector/two-way emergency alert/activity monitor. According to the Telegraph, it was designed by Sebastian Conran (left) and was ‘fully certified by the US government in recent weeks’ which may mean that it gained FDA clearance. The second was for their ‘Smart Tag’ used in criminal tracking with the New South Wales, Australia government. Care Innovations adds another consumer-facing device to the Lively activity tracker and iHealth fitness and telehealth devices. Timing for availability is not disclosed. (more…)

LG’s Kizon child tracker debuts

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Kizon-LG.jpg” thumb_width=”175″ /] Just in time for school start in North America and Europe is LG‘s September intro of the Kizon bracelet for keeping track of your small child through an Android app. This child-friendly, colorful (but a little bulky) wristband seems to pack a lot into a one-button package: GPS/Wi-Fi tracking, 2G/3G cellular ability for the child to call out to a pre-loaded phone number and to accept calls from pre-approved numbers. And it appears to be a water and stain-resistant watch as well. LG is marketing to parents of pre-school and primary/elementary school children but pricing is not available. It’s a big change stylistically from the GPS trackers like Lok8u which have typically been marketed for primarily autistic children and others at risk. Launch will be in South Korea this week according to BBC News. Is there an opportunity to use this with older people as well?

Editor Chrys on background:

The idea of using mobile phones for tracking kids goes way back to around 2003. The earliest service I know of was one called Child Locate and was launched in the UK by Jon Magnusson. It was intended for parents to track kids (or rather their phones) on a map on the internet. Child Locate has now morphed into Mobile Locate and tracks any mobile device and  claims 100,000+ users.

The other service that comes to mind straight away is Disney Mobile – Disney’s MVNO over Sprint. In 2006 Disney launched what seems a great idea at the time – a service for parents to track kids – the Family Center. Similar to Child Locate this service allowed parents to locate the mobile on a map, plus limit call and text spending. It was launched with two handsets, one from, wait for it – LG and the other from now almost bankrupt third largest Korean handset company Pantech. So LG was dabbling in this in 2005/6. Disney Mobile had plans to expand to UK over the O2 network though that never materialised. Disney Mobile closed down a year later.

The Kizon may look cute at first glance but it is definitely not unobtrusive. When my neighbour’s 18-month-old is playing Peppa Pig incessantly on her iPad I think LG’s marketing department is behind times thinking they can get a Western kid to be tracked by her dad for everyone to see. Make no mistake Korea and Japan are the leading nations for high tech consumer products but the psychology of those countries don’t work here. Having worked for a leading Japanese company I have seen this from the inside. If this takes off in London I’ll eat my hat – even if I have to buy a hat to eat!

A small compendium of potentially useful info

In the process of looking for interesting items to highlight on Telehealth & Telecare Aware, occasionally we trip over info that, whilst not riveting in its own right, nevertheless may be of use to readers.  Here is a small selection of recent finds that we will add to – reader additions are most welcome too:

GP EU eHealth/telehealth penetration

The EU has recently published the results of a survey carried out last year on the penetration of eHealth & telehealth in GP surgeries across all EU countries (Croatia joined the EU during the survey) plus Iceland, Norway & Turkey. It comprises a very comprehensive executive summary, a full report, a series of individual country reports (44MB – beware) and a technical annex. Encouragingly it shows high adoption in the UK of EHRs though it’s no surprise the UK slips well down the ranks for things like telehealth adoption by GPs. (Giving extra weight to recent GPonline editorial calling for a change of culture by GPs regarding telehealth).

Reference to “N.H.S.” in the charts was (more…)

Police use GPS trackers to find people with dementia (UK)

According to a BBC TV report (may not be viewable outside the UK), Sussex Police has become the first force in Britain to pay for GPS tracking to help people with dementia. They are using the £27/month Mindme device.
UPDATE 2 May: Mike Clark on the 3millionlives LinkedIn group has pulled together links to items that are appearing in response to the above BBC report. For readers without access to the group they are from the Guardian; the Telegraph, the BBC and the Alzheimer’s Society. Judging by the comments on the Guardian article, the National Pensioners Convention badly misjudged the public mood on this one, and their press release muddles the issues of service funding, who should be responsible for people with dementia, and social isolation.