Jill Riley

Jul 132015

NHS Hack Day  12th & 13th September, being held in Manchester - is a relaxed and free-form software development day, run as an unconference, allowing participants to pitch their ideas and NHS problems to the audience of developers and Health IT specialists. After pitching, teams form organically and people start working on their solutions. On the Sunday, work continues, and then the work is presented to the judging panel. Prizes are awarded, but the main point of participation is the lessons learned, the community that has formed around NHS Hack Day, and the exhilaration of helping develop software over a weekend.  Find out more HERE

Jun 152015

ADASS Care Apps Showcase 2015 - Monday 19 October 2015
This conference is FREE to attend for all public sector delegates.

Call for App Presenters
A unique opportunity to present to key decision-makers, funders and influencers in the adult social care sector.

For full details on how to apply and the selection process click here.  All applications are to be returned to tina.gallagher@techuk.org by close of play on Tuesday 30 June.

Interested in Sponsorship or Exhibiting?
There are sponsorship and exhibition opportunities available. For further details please contact tina.compton@techuk.org.

How do I book?
If you would like to attend as a delegate you can book online and it's much easier and quicker to do this if you are logged in. If you have forgotten your login details, please click here to reset.




May 152015


The Health App Challenge was a one-year project that supported patients with diabetes or pre/post weight loss surgery to design and/or develop their very own health apps (e.g. mobile app, website or social media) to help manage their condition. Participants were offered advice from intellectual property experts, technical developers and medical professionals. Other patients were invited to review existing health apps they had used to help inform others, and review the Challenge entries to determine a winner.

Five teams entered the Challenge with their unique diabetes apps designs:-

BWell Sugars System, a simple data entry and blood glucose trends tracker design.
BetterBGs, a clever real-time insulin and food dose advisory system design.
EasyDiabetes, a useful organiser design with a range of tools specifically for teens.
Dap’n, a motivational game design for better adherence to medical recommendations.
Gluco-Drive, a sensible alert design for monitoring blood glucose levels before driving.

Dap'n’, the app design by Reina Yaidoo and her team, was chosen as winner for its high ratings (5/5) and praise from peer reviewers. “...I love the concept of setting challenges and presenting health monitoring in a 'game' form...”

Since winning the Challenge, Reina and her team’s app design Dap’n has gained much interest and is currently shortlisted for funding support, to turn their design into a published health app, in two national programmes - Nominet Trust’s Social Tech Seed and Virgin’s Pitch to Rich.

Patients gave over 140 reviews of the Challenge designs and existing health apps (including bariatric apps), with The Diabetic Lounge and Carbs & Cals receiving the most reviews and praise amongst the existing health apps. You can still view the designs and reviews at www.healthappchallenge.org.uk.

Online Community Area

Although the Health App Challenge has come to a close, the project team is in the process of arranging an online community area to support discussion and networking between people interested in health app development (e.g. patients, developers, health professionals etc.), including the potential for collaboration and further support for Challenge participants in turning their designs into working apps.
Anyone interested, is welcome to email emily.ashurst@plymouth.ac.uk

Interest in Future Health App Challenges Booklet

As a key outcome of the project, the team produced a booklet for interest in future Health App Challenges, and is available online HERE. ‘Patient-led innovation: How to run, take part in and support a Health App Challenge', is a combination of project experiences and information as asked by participants during the Challenge.


The project team would really like to know your views on this patient-led approach and on health app development in general in a very brief, anonymous, 3-question survey. Everyone is encouraged to complete it HERE and all feedback is much appreciated.

The Health App Challenge project was run by Plymouth University, funded by the Intellectual Property Office Fast Forward Competition 2014 and supported by Diabetes UK, WLSinfo, HANDI, and Britain’s Nurses.

May 072015

Closing date for applications is 24 May.

On the 3rd July 2015 the mHabitat inaugural People Driven Digital unAwards will give big kudos to people who have found clever ways to solve everyday problems through digital technologies.

It is free to enter and free to attend for those fortunate enough to be shortlisted.

Winners will walk away with their own non digitally-handcrafted award and a digital badge for their website.

To nominate yourself or someone else who is an ace digital innovator, you need only fill out a short application form

Further information about the #PDDAwards15 HERE

May 052015


PAS 277:2015 defines a set of quality criteria for the development, testing and releasing of health and wellness apps.

The recommendations cover the full app project life cycle from development through to updating and are relevant to clinical, native, hybrid and web based apps. This PAS also addresses fitness for purpose, risk management and monitoring of usage.

It allows app developers to come up with innovative ways of providing solutions that may be adopted by health care professionals and the public. Going forward, it will help support a change in how healthcare is delivered in the future.

Who is it for?

PAS 277 is intended for the use of app developers and publishers, but may also benefit health care professionals and general users of mobile apps.

It is particularly relevant to professional bodies such as: HANDI, DHACA, Royal College of Physicians Health Informatics Unit, Tech UK and TSA.

The document underwent a peer and public review and is a consensus document.

More information HERE

Apr 132015

HANDI-HOPD the HANDI Open Platform Demonstrator has now been adopted by NHS England as the NHS England Code4Health Platform. This platform provides a simulation environment for any system of service that wants to expose an API (interface) in an open ecosystem and includes an openEHR repository loaded with test data from the Leeds Lab Project.

We have exposed SMART and FHIR APIs as well as the native openEHR service API on top of the repository, and used this to build a number of apps and also demonstrated how you can simply plug in apps developed elsewhere using the SMART API.

The platform has also been used to prototype a UK localisation of an open source ePrescribing product www.openep.org and the speed we have been able to carry out the localisation and meet some special mental health requirements has been impressive, indeed so impressive that we will shortly be announcing the first NHS Trusts who will be taking the system live.

Work is currently being completed to re-brand the HANDI platform as the NHS Code4Health Platform, and this will shortly be available for those who want to learn more and experiment with this and other open technologies.

 Posted by on April 13, 2015 at 14:08
Mar 252015

Mobile devices are being increasingly used in health and social care and there is a rapidly expanding availability of medical software applications (Apps) to use on them. To make sure you are up to date with current thinking we are bringing together both the health sector and industry to discuss a variety of topics.

For more information and how to book visit HERE

 Posted by on March 25, 2015 at 17:23
Mar 182015

techUK is hosting a briefing session with NHS England on Code4Health programme on 23rd March at 9.30am.

Richard Jefferson (Head of Business Systems, NHS England), will share the vision on how Code4Health will be a resource used by healthcare professionals and providers of services to deliver better patient outcomes. It will provide a platform for clinicians to come together with IT suppliers to identify and experiment with the systems in their Trusts and develop new functionality and products/solutions that they can potentially deploy. NHS England will also provide details on the opportunities for IT suppliers to get involved in the programme and will be looking to industry for feedback on plans and/or commitment to the programme.

Further details, including how to register can be found HERE.


 Posted by on March 18, 2015 at 12:01
Mar 132015

HANDI HOPD (Health Open Platform Demonstrator) was developed to provide a platform to enable clinicians to learn to code and to provide a testing and development environment to build apps.  Adopted by NHS England to power the Code4Health platform, with the revived programme having now been launched and the first courses are underway.

One of the first courses took place at Bradford University this week, with course provider LiveCode educating clinicians on how to develop their own apps.

As the programme expands, NHS England will be looking for additional commercial and academic organisations to apply to become accredited Code4Health course providers.

Further Code4Health courses are being held in Bradford and London this month, in Northumbria and Yeovil in April, and in Bolton, Croydon and London in May.

Interested in knowing more – SEE HERE

 Posted by on March 13, 2015 at 16:19
Mar 062015

The approach that Moscow City Council has adopted to create an open platform to support health and social care services in Moscow which uses some of the same technology as the Code4Health platform would seem to have relevance to the UK and in particular is a good fit for the needs of emerging new approaches to the integration of health and social care like that recently announced for Manchester.

Many of you will know about HANDI-HOPD the HANDI Open Platform Demonstrator  that we have been working on for the last few months, this has now morphed into the NHS Code4Health Platform launched by NHS England during eHealth Week in London this week (5th March 2015).  However, what you probably won’t know is that one of the key pieces of technology available on the platform is the same as that which is currently powering the whole of the eHealth system in Slovenia and even more impressively Moscow.

The Platform deployed in these two places brings together OpenEHR www.openehr.org and IHE XDS  in a very impressive way. And I believe provides a model for what we might do in the UK and even more interestingly aligns with the thinking in a number of UK city regions who are already looking at IHE XDS and/or OpenEHR and who in a number of cases have already implemented one or the other. However, the UK initiatives appear to know little of what’s been done in Slovenia and Moscow and in particular how XDS has been successfully integrated with OpenEHR, which I believe takes the capabilities of the platform to a new level – This blog aims to put this right.

One of our key partners in the Code4Health Programme who have provided the core of platform and open source components for the OPENeP Project www.openep.org are Marand,  and they are also the company who provided the platform for both Slovenia and Moscow and it is from their charismatic CEO Tomaž Gornik that I draw much of my inspiration and information.

Before turning to some of the technical details I’d like to describe a little of what I understand of the somewhat different approaches in Slovenia and Moscow and the motivations behind them, as while both use what is fundamentally the same technical platform they came to the solution from different directions in ways which graphically illustrate the flexibility of the underlying technology.

Moscow City Council is responsible for pretty much all of the health and social services serving Moscow’s 11 million citizens covering broadly what we call primary, community and social care and outpatient clinics. Moscow is a complex environment and has large number of siloed legacy systems, which made interoperability difficult and created significant vendor lock-in of data and systems. Moscow wanted to separate data from applications and store its data in a vendor and technology neutral format and chose OpenEHR to do this. They piloted this approach using the Marand Think!EHR OpenEHR implementation (which is one of the components on the Code4Health Platform) and IHE XDS components from  www.forcare.com. The same basic technology as Marand had already successfully implemented in Slovenia where the IHE componets were supplied by www.tiani-spirit.com . The pilot was successfully and the platform is now rolling out across the City.

While both Slovenia and Moscow have ended up with broadly similar solutions they reached this point from opposite directions. Slovenia started simply wanting to implement IHE XDS to allow sharing at a document level, but came to realise that this did not support their need for fine-grained structured data to support big data analytics. They solved this problem with the integration of  OpenEHR. Moscow on the other hand started with a view they just needed OpenEHR, but were persuaded of the quick wins IHE XDS could bring with document level sharing and in particular its ability to mobilise documents already produced by legacy systems that would take some time to be replaced or upgraded to take full advantage of the power of OpenEHR.

In both Moscow and Slovenia the same proprietary components have been used to implement both XDS and OpenEHR.  However, both have the comfort that because the data is stored in an open format, these components can easily be replaced if alternatives emerge which appear to offer better performance or value. Indeed this portability of data is something that HANDI have already proven in the creation of the Code4Health platform which required the data to be moved between two competing OpenEHR implementations.

Requirements and technology will evolve, but for me for now and the foreseeable future the approach taken in Moscow seems like the best bet for the integration of systems and information in the complex environment of health and social care across a city region. It brings the long-term benefits of OpenEHR, which has the capacity to put data into an open, fine grained, structured format that is technology and vendor neutral, with the tools to easily engage frontline clinicians and other Health and Care Professionals in its curation while delivering the quick wins with XDS that can ensure the right document is available in the right place at the right time to support safe, efficient care.

Ewan Davis - Director
6th March 2015