Alison Longwill

Mar 102014

HANDI has some exciting plans to develop HANDI and the services we offer to members.

To help us develop these plans we want to understand more about the demographics of our membership, what you value about what HANDI has done so far and what you would like us to do in the future.

To this end we have created an online questionnaire and would be grateful if you could spend a few minutes completing it.

You can find the questionnaire here

Thank you for giving us your views!

Mar 072014

At HC2014 in Manchester on 19th and 20th March UK Trade & Investment are hosting an International Exchange which may be of interest to HANDI members with products and service they wish to sell outside the UK. The exchange offers expert trade advice to enhance your business prospects. What's an International Exchange?

UKTI bring international trade experts and primed international buyers to you, so you can increase your export potential. Register for HC2014 and then pre-book your  one-to-one meeting with the expert / buyer of your choice.

What's the benefit?

Whether you've never exported before or you're an old-timer keen to increase your reach, at HC2014 the UKTI International Exchange enables you to:

• Present products to international buyers

• Discuss global opportunities and best practice

• Learn of industry developments in key markets

• Boost your international contacts and network

HC2014 is free to attend so book your free place.



Feb 232014

HANDI has had an invitation from NHS England for HANDI Members who are developing apps for health and care to "Show and Tell" in NHS England's Entrepreneurs Zone on  Monday 3rd March at the Health and Care Innovation Expo 2014  in Manchester.

NHS England is looking for developers with work in progress, prototypes and early production versions who want to show people what they have done and seek suggestions for improvement and share their experiences with others. They are particularly keen to hear from people developing free and open source apps and from clinicians and other health and care professionals who are "Coding4Health"

Those accepted will be granted free admission to Expo on the 3rd and allocated a slot and a place on the NHS England Entrepreneurs Zone where they can "Show and  Tell" with power and dedicated WiFi.

Space is limited -  to express your interest please register via this link.

Jan 302014

HANDI are looking for panel speakers and session facilitators for the HANDI Spring Symposium on Wednesday May in London.

The HANDI Health Apps Spring Symposium builds on the successful event run at EHI Live in November. Again working with EHI The HANDI Spring Symposium will take place at the Royal College of GPs, Euston Square, London on Wednesday 14th  May.

The symposium will provide an opportunity for the audience to discuss issues of concern to health and care app developers amongst themselves and with leading experts. Each session will consist of brief (5 minute) presentations from a panel of  three leading experts and practitioners after which the audience will be able to ask questions and make their own contribution which we hope will lead to a lively and informative discussion.

The sessions will be cover the following issues:

  • Finance, business models and startups
  • Quality assurance, safety and regulation
  • Informatics standards and interoperability
  • Tech and tools for app developers
  • User centred design
  • Digital Mental health and Wellbeing
  • Open source apps
  • UI, UX and information design

Were looking for experts and those currently struggling with the issues above who are willing to share their expertise and experience as well as a facilitator for each theme.

If you think you can help, or want to propose alternative themes please email outlining your interest

Jul 182013

HANDI were delighted that two of our founders were nominated for this prestigious award, but conflicted because we could not possibly have campaigned for one over the other. Rob Dyke was disappointed not to make it on the Health Service Journal’s list of the 50 most inspirational women in healthcare as the other HANDI candidate for IT Champion Sarah Amani did (he’d agree to dress as required) but he is the one to have been shortlisted for IT Champion so congratulation to Sarah for gaining well deserved recognition as one of the most inspirational women in healthcare and we can now say without fear or favour “Vote for Rob for IT Champion”

It would be great to have one of HANDI’s founders win this award so we urge you all to vote for him in the final round. There are some other worthy candidates but Rob stands out, as while the others are being recognised for doing the paid day job well, Rob’s contribution primarily to HANDI,  and NHS Hack Day has not just been unpaid but supported further out of his own pocket.

Voting is open now and closes at 16.00 next Friday the 26th July

Jul 052013


I’m off to “Entrepreneur's Day with NHS England”  being organised by Cambridge Health Networks where I expect to see a lot of HANDI members and be able to recruit some new ones.

I’ve been a serial, if not always successful, commercial and social entrepreneur since I was 13 and through my work with HANDI I have spoken  literally many hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs in the digital health and care space, most of who are a lot closer to 13 than I am today.  So from my own experience and that of others I hope I know what entrepreneurs want.

Well , like all of us, they want some mixture of money, glory, power and sex and are driven to achieve this by a heady mixture of love and fear. But, to be more specific about what they want in the digital health and care world I think this falls in to three areas in this order:

A route to market

They want to understand which business models will enable them to deliver sustainable products and service and achieve the commercial and/or social return they seek. This means:

  • Help in getting an enterprise of the ground in particular investment and mentorship (although too many young entrepreneurs don’t recognise their need for the later)
  • Guidance on business models and in particular support for novel business models that have the potential to provide a better way to buy and sell than traditional ones.
  • If the target payer is the public sector, help through the procurement jungle and public procurement channels that are accessible to start-ups and micro-enterprises.
  • A sales channel. Many entrepreneurs have neither the capacity nor inclination to do the required selling and would find the assistance of a appropriately configured sales organisation really helpful.

Help with quality and regulation

This is a fraught area for entrepreneurs in health and care. They recognise the need for regulation where poor quality can cause serious harm, want to comply with regulatory requirements and recognise the value of being able to demonstrate they meet appropriate quality standards, but they don’t want to be mired in onerous bureaucratic processes. They want:

  • Clarity with regard to legal requirements so they can properly address their compliance and risk management.  Today, it can be near impossible to get such clarity from regulators like the MHRA.
  • Access to independent quality assurance services which can provide meaningful but lightweight quality and safety accreditation that allows those who invest in quality and safety to distinguish their products and services from those who don’t. There are too many “snake oil” salesmen in the health and care apps market.
  • Help and guidance in meeting those quality and safety requirements that are required or useful to them.

Help to play nicely together

Delivering the real promise of digital tools requires that individual products and service from different, maybe competing, suppliers can work together orchestrated so they provide a unified experience to user, sharing data where appropriate with access to the common services they need to achieve this. This means:

  • Help and guidance with regard to interfaces, standards, software orchestration and interoperability.
  • Meaningful access to open interfaces (APIs) on relevant third party systems.
  • Access to a digital health ecosystem that provides the infrastructure and services required to support interoperability, orchestration and playing nicely together.

HANDI can help with all of these things. I look forward to hear how NHS England can help.

Jun 082013

GPSoC is the the procurement framework under which IT in for GP practices is funded. The existing arrangements have a narrow  focus and are of little interest outside of the core  GP clinical systems market. However the new GPSoC procurement which has just started has a much broader scope and provides an important opportunity for app developers and indeed anyone who wants to sell products or services in or which interoperate with UK general practice.

The OJEU Contract Notice was published on 28 May and has now been followed by more information including the Memorandum of Information and a link to request the pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ). The deadline for submission of the PQQ is noon on 4th July

This framework is very broadly drawn and while its core purpose in the provision of GP Clinical Systems to English general practice it provides a procurement vehicle which could provide a route to market for a wide range of apps, digital tools and services for use in general practice or related to interoperability with general practice from other parts of the care system , with the framework available for use by any public sector body across all the home countries in the UK.

There are three lots.

Lot 1 is centrally funded and relates to GP Clinical Systems and certain high priority subsidiary products and apps. In particular lot 1 covers apps that provide patients with GP record access and access to GP transactional services (appointment bookings, prescription requests etc) - an area of potential interest to many HAND members

Lots 2 and 3 are not centrally funded but provide a flexible procurement route for local NHS or other public sector bodies wanting to procure the products and services covered. Lot 2 covers additional GP IT services while lot 3 covers cross-care setting interoperable services. My reading is that these lots could also include patient facing apps and services which GP Practice, CCG or CSU wish to procure for use by patients they serve.

The future GPSoC Contract also place a requirement on principle system suppliers to provide open interfaces to third party products and services, which together with the procurement framework provided create a very significant opportunity for vendors large and small in this key market, which all vendors should investigate.

This post is adapted with permission from a post by HANDI founder Ewan Davis on the Woodcote Consulting web site. Woodcote offer consultancy services to those seeking help exploring opportunities under the new GPSoC arraignments.

Apr 152013

HANDI believes that the realisation of the promise of  digital tools to transform the way we deliver health and care requires an approach based on user centred designed involving frontline users. Clinicians form a substantial part of the user community and HANDI are strong supporters of the EHI CCIO Campaign which aims to strengthen clinical leadership  in the world of information and informatics through the appointment of a Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO) in all NHS organisations.

In support of this object the EHI CCIO Campaign have established the CCIO Network. This network is not just for CCIOs and aspiring CCIOs, but for all with an interest in clinical informatics and is something we would urge all HANDI Members to consider joining. The network brings together clinicians, academics and those working in the technology industry to supply useful content, support best practice and participate in events.

The CCIO Leaders Network is a network built and continuing to build on existing clinical networks, and is fast becoming the home for clinical informatics.

By signing up to the CCIO Leaders Network you:

  • gain access to online resources, interviews and case studies
  • can enrol in our mentorship programme for developing future clinical information leaders
  • can take part in lively online discussions on key topics
  • receive the fortnightly newsletter with profiles and community discussions
  • receive invitations to a professionally focused events series, curated by a leading industry advisory panel

join a vibrant community for shared learning of best practice in Health IT

To get involved and participate in this growing community sign up free here:


Apr 132013

Members of the NHS Hack Day community including organisations such as OpenGPSoC  and HANDI as well as many individual contributors, are conducting a survey of the ease of organisational WiFi access at their place of work for NHS Staff.

Complete the Survey 

Increasingly, NHS staff are seeking to improve the care they provide by making reference to knowledge sources based on the Internet using their own smartphones and other devices. Unfortunately, it is apparent that in many work settings, WiFi access for staff is not straightforward and in many cases is not available. NHS organisations do generally provide PC terminals which have Internet Access, however this is often insufficient for accessing knowledge or resources at the point of care.

In order to take this WiFi issue forward, it is necessary to first gather data on the current level of WiFi provision. We would appreciate your help in collecting data about the ease of WiFi access in your place of NHS work. Most importantly, if you are completing this survey, please also distribute it to your work colleagues so we can maximise the number and spread of responses.

Our non-profit organisations believe in openness, transparency and trust. No personally identifiable data will be collected or shared about your responses. There is a section at the end for any comments you wish to make to the survey team, or for wider distribution (only with your permission). Results of this survey will be available from the websites of the organisations listed in the and will also be widely distributed. infrastructure

Note: efforts are being made separately for universal, free, WiFi access for Patients in the NHS and we wholeheartedly support this work. (see link ) However, for our current needs we would like to aim this survey purely at NHS STAFF ONLY.

Complete the Survey 

Mar 222013

It a year today since the formal incorporation of HANDI Health CIC and a few weeks more since we first announced our plans.

In our first we have achieved a great deal:

  • Nearly 1000 members in our network from all segments of the community
  • Well over a 1000 followers on Twitter
  • An expanding web presence
  • 5 regional groups with 5 more in the planning
  • Our first sponsors and some Government funding
  • Active cooperation with many organizations including:
    • NHS Commissioning Board
    • Cabinet Office
    • Health and Social Care Information Centre
    • Many universities
    • London Connect
    • Intellect – (the Industry Trade Association)

Our Challenge for the rest 0f 2013 is to continue to build our network and web presence. We have announced a series of free regional workshops support by the ICT Knowledge Transfer Network. These workshops will also be available to view online and will result in White Papers covering subject of importance to the App Community.

We will also shortly be announcing plans for a major national conference and some exciting app challenges will provide the opportunity for developers to compete for support to develop their app or idea.

HANDI is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company and to take our work forward we need support from those who find value in it. The next few months will see a major drive for sponsorship and if HANDI is to survive an flourish we need your support – Please Help