NHS App.....a tool whose time has come

COVID 19 is throwing up challenges for all of us. For those who catch it and for those who have other Co-morbidity issues. The NHS and private sector capacity is now being focused on dealing with COVID 19 which means treatment for other conditions is being delayed, which may move them into a life threatening situation.

For me that means having planned procedures cancelled and with a worsening (Non COVOID 19) condition, having to accept that I need to crack on and do as much myself to help alleviate the problem.

I had downloaded the NHS app on March 16th (Version 1.28). The join up process was slick and since then I have used it to order repeat prescriptions, manage appointments with my GP, check results of blood tests and also request all my medical records for review. Dating back to when I was three (my first record being a Vaccination for Polio.) they allow a much greater understanding of my condition… which will help me, help the medical professionals deal with the issue…Better, Faster and more cost effectively

This is clipped from an early revision of my article on the IDD; entitled Mobilise for Success

Digital tools Engage with the open source ethos and build out some Digital tools to help. Take the NHS App and make it sing and dance. Use it to feed back “incident reports”. (Tack this on to the Q&A process to then feedback). Anonymise the data and use this information to provide local information as to possible incidents of Covid cases. Overlay with known tested cases. Over lay with hospital cases and update as they move from Ward to ICU to…death or recovery. Allow public to drill down to maximum detail.

I copied this to ideas@no10 and have watched as the revision number on the app stay stubbornly unchanged. The Lectern used at the daily press conference promote the NHS website when they could be promoting the App. The major difference being that it would move from one way flow to two way communication.

The NHS App runs on your smartphone. Check out this incredible “big data” possibility It shows how young people at their annual spring break in Florida, met up on the beach and then carried the Reaper virus far and wide to infect and kill their elderly loved ones (Thanks to @NeilW for the term Reaper Virus)

The intersection of location and symptoms (using the Q&A function as an Incident reporting function) would be a game changer in understanding the spread of the virus. Throw in blue tooth technology and the possibility of other NHS App users having an alarm sound if a possible COVID infected person is close. Etc Etc

The key…in my opinion… is to embrace the open source ethos. Many eyes make shallow bugs

Set up a platform like this one which runs the IDD. (We could have such a Work Place in the Cloud set up within 5 minutes)

Establish and encourage users to join and feedback ideas. Establish App developer group to then discuss and code solutions to solve the problems
Have a “benevolent dictator” AKA “Pumpkin Holder” (In PERL speak) to then make decisions and update the issue state and get it moving from the current 1.28.0 where it has been languishing since I downloaded it 14 days ago

This may already be happening or for very good reasons something is happening elsewhere, but based on my experience, the NHS App is a potential game changer, not only in helping defeat COVID 19, but subsequently helping the NHS become Better, Faster and more Cost Effective in delivering on its remit.

About the IDD
The Institute for Digital Disruption is a non profit organisation whose objective is to share information about how modern digital tools and processes may disrupt the conventional. It will always be free to join.

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To check the earlier revisions of this article please click on the pencil logo with revision number along side on top right of article. If nothing is showing, this is the first issue

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Message to NHS App team
I wrote this article (Link to article above) and would welcome the opportunity of helping your team develop ways to accelerate the development of the NHS App

NHS App team contact page