Interesting reading in the recent report by Patient View (White Paper 2015) into what patients and carers wanted from healthcare apps, based on a survey of 1,130 respondents in 31 countries. Their top five needs were identified as:

  1. To help them understand their condition and treatment choices (61%)
  2. To provide support (such as care planning) (55%)
  3. To track and monitor symptoms in order to benchmark their progress (46%)
  4. To provide a way to communicate with their doctor or nurse (45%)
  5. To raise public awareness of conditions which are important to them (38%)

Of particular interest to Time for Medicine is Number 4, as without ongoing secure communication with clinicians, effective monitoring and appropriate interventions are hindered.

Having gone through the pain (believe me) of passing regulation with Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (the Welsh equivalent of the CQC), achieving certification under the Information Governance Toolkit and securing hosting behind the NHS N3 firewall, this ongoing secure communication is something we can now provide.

Of course, the needs of patients are crucial in app design, but unless clinicians are able to monitor remotely, many of the benefits of these patient-support tools will be lost.