PKB on Sky News thanks to Department of Health’s Maps and Apps event

I spent a very cool morning at Sky News. Not only did they pick me up in taxi with built-in Wi-Fi, but the studio’s circular layout was space age. I noticed that the weather lady was not waving in front of a blue background, it was actually an enormous screen. I really want that screen for my home. And then I got to meet Eamonn Holmes who was really nice to me, reminding me during the interview a couple of times that I had to mention PKB’s name. I was quite nervous, clutching the iPad for support.

All of this was part of the Department of Health’s Maps and Apps competition. The competition was started by DoH at in August of 2011. They did a quiet launch but soon had loud approval from the community. Over 500 developers submitted their apps, and to their continuing surprise, thousands of comments and even more votes. People really wanted these solutions.

What I found inspiring was how many of them were already in place, used by NHS clinicians and patients. On the day of the event it was great talking to fellow innovators as they explained what differences they were making in clinicians’ work and patients’ lives. And with several of the developers, we discussed how to integrate their smartphone apps with PKB’s platform.

Three of the judges picked Patients Know Best as a favourite entry. For example, here is Julie Meyer talking about us:

And the DoH did an outstanding job of getting publicity for the event. We appeared in the BBC, Evening Standard, GuardianTelegraph, Times and others. Below is Sky News’s full article about the event.

Healthcare App1More than 500 apps were nominated as part of a competition run by the NHS

10:26am UK, Wednesday February 22, 2012

Thomas Moore, health correspondent

GPs are to “prescribe” smartphone apps to patients to help them manage their own health.

The Department of Health says the technology can put patients in charge of their medical records, and help them manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

More than 500 apps were nominated as part of a competition run by the NHS.

The most useful and popular have now been included on a shortlist that doctors will be encouraged to recommend to patients.

One app, called Patients Know Best, allows individuals to take control of their medical records and make video calls to doctors.

It was created by Mohammad al Ubaydli, who has a rare genetic disorder that leaves him vulnerable to infections.

Using apps that locate local health services or apps that help you to get fit can dramatically improve your daily life.

Martha Lane Fox, UK digital champion and entrepreneur

He told Sky News: “It is a one-in-a-million condition and there are lots of doctors involved in my care.

“I had to keep updating them on my treatment, so I thought I should take control of my records and then share them as needed.”

A third of medical records contain errors. Most are trivial, but some, such as drug allergies, are serious.

“The best person to spot mistakes is the patient,” he said.

The most popular app was Moodscope, which helps people monitor their state of mind and alerts friends, family or health workers if they are feeling low.

The Diabetes App reminds people when to check blood sugar levels and take medication.

It also records and tracks readings, which can be sent electronically to their clinic for monitoring.

And allows people with food allergies and intolerances to avoid certain ingredients by zapping barcodes on supermarket shelves.

Healthcare App2Apps can put patients in charge of their medical records

Martha Lane Fox, UK digital champion and dotcom entrepreneur, helped to judge the apps.

She said: “We live in a world where digital technology is an essential part of people’s lives – whether it’s at work or simply getting around town.

“I want to encourage more people to develop their digital skills, and that’s why it’s been great to be a part of this initiative.

“Using apps that locate local health services or apps that help you to get fit can dramatically improve your daily life.”

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “Innovation and technology can revolutionise the health service.

“We are looking at how the NHS can use these apps for the benefit of patients, including how GPs could offer them for free.”

A list of all 500 nominated apps is available at

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