A new mobile application has been launched by King’s College Hospital Rheumatology Department. The app was designed for sufferers of chronic arthritis with the goal of advancing patient care.
Ampersand Mobile designed and developed the application which enables patients suffering from arthritis to manage such things as treatment courses and appointments. The intent is to aid in reducing the amount of time patients need to wait and to empower them in managing their care.
Ampersand Mobile Approached by King’s College Hospital
King’s College Hospital consultant, Dr James Galloway, approached Ampersand Mobile after their success with an application in 2013 for Christie NHS Foundation Trust. Dr Galloway envisioned trying a mobile application as a solution for King’s College Hospital. This is after seeing the piece developed by Ampersand that addressed key concerns which had challenged the NHS.
Mobile Technology Can Be Powerful Tool in Patient Self-Management
According to Galloway, sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis, and conditions related to it, have a need to go to hospital for a variety of reasons on a continual basis. He further states that the reasons could include visits to their doctor, blood tests, physical therapy, counselling and/or other tests and investigations. He believes, as does the hospital, that the key to improving patient care is in empowering them. A sense of loss of control is a major factor that leads to debilitation. It was also their goal to prove that mobile technology could be a powerful tool in patient self-management.
Mobile App Aids in a Number of Patient Tasks
Patients are able to complete a range of tasks that would have previously been done during their normal visits to the doctor/hospital. Now they can capture data such as results of blood tests and blood test requirements. They can track appointments, complete health questionnaires, submit the completed questionnaires with complete confidence in security, contact relevant persons within departments and easily find their way around different locations in the hospital. Empowering patients to do some of these tasks at their own convenience will significantly reduce time spent at the hospital.
Hospital and Patient Needs Were Translated into an App
Ampersand Mobile’s managing director, Joo Teoh, states that they met with Dr Galloway along with his colleagues to plan and design their needed solution. They also met with a patient feedback assembly. Ampersand Mobile needed to have an understanding of important issues facing them and what current frustrations they were facing. They further needed to understand emotional triggers and sensitivities. All of this was then translated into features that are efficient and confidential as needed.
By tracking the adoption of the application and resulting feedback, King’s College Hospital hopes to test the app for potential wider use of digital communications to aid patient care.