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In brief .... 3 July 2015




KidPRO app supports medical care for children

Technology consulting firm DataArt has developed an app named KidPRO for children to provide data to support their medical care. It is an offshoot of the ePRO system targeted at adults.

It includes a daily diary, rewards for taking medication and other prescribed activities, a key ‘protoganist’ avatar in the form of a squirrel named Errol, and a star reward system.  It can also capture information for use in children’s treatment.

Roman Chernyshev, vice president of healthcare and life sciences at DataArt EU, said: “There is a very serious purpose behind this app – to help the medical and pharmaceutical community adapt their product to the behaviour patterns and compliance rates of children and to record their progress.

“Studies show that children born after the turn of the century respond more strongly to technology than adults.  It is the fastest way of ensuring engagement and the most effective.” 


GDS sharpens feedback service

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has made changes to its Feedback explorer tool, aimed at improving the responses from content designers and publishers who use the GOV.UK platform.

In an Inside GOV.UK blogpost, it said it has made it easier to export feedback, see comments arranged by organisation and group comments between specific dates.

It added that it is now looking at ways to improve the quality and quantity of feedback, with a new form on some popular pages and more columns in the CSV export function.


Axelos releases new version of P3M3

Axelos, the joint venture between Capita and the Cabinet Office, has released a new version of the Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Maturity Model (P3M3).

It is used by a number of public sector organisations as a framework for assessing and benchmarking performance and to plan for managing change.

The new P3M3 v3.0 allows users to analyses commercial, asset and behavioural aspects when keeping track of projects delivered by third party contractors.

Axelos chief executive Peter Hepworth said: “P3M3 is already valued by organisations as a way of assessing current performance and putting in place improvement plans, and the new version follows extensive discussion with consulting organisations.

“P3M3 v3.0 provides much greater depth and hence capacity to diagnose PPM issues and gives more precise insight into an organisation. It will enable consultants and end users to identify clearly the good and bad aspects of their portfolio, programme and project management while showing what is needed to improve performance and the delivery of outcomes.”


Cisco launches IoT System for cities

Technology company Cisco Systems has launched a solution designed to simplify the management of the internet of things for city authorities.

Named IoT System, it comprises six technology “pillars” that combine into an architecture that the company says can reduce the complexity in managing data from the growing number of sensors and devices. The six pillars are:

fog computing for data from the edge of networks that can produce immediate insights and actions;

  • security;
  • data analytics;
  • network connectivity;
  • management and automation, a system to control endpoints and applications;
  • and an application enablement platform, that offers a set of application programme interfaces.

Cisco predicted that more than 40% of IoT data will be processed in the fog by 2018. Over 25 of its network products are enabled with the fog computing or edge data processing platform IOx.

Kip Compton, vice president of the IoT Systems and Software Group at Cisco, said: “The Cisco IoT System provides a comprehensive set of IoT technologies and products that simplify and accelerate the deployment of infrastructure for the internet of things. This unique systems approach delivers a framework that makes it possible to deploy, accelerate and innovate with IoT.”


Thurrock signs Northgate for housing

Thurrock Council has signed up to use Northgate Public  Services’ Housing Management solution to manage its estate of more than 10,000 properties. The deal runs for five years from April 2015.

The solution includes a set of web portal applications for tenants to securely self-serve, and supports mobile working by council staff. Northgate said it will also help to minimise data duplication and reduce the requirement for manual data entry.

The company will also provide technical and service management support.


NI school governors get portal and app

Northern Ireland’s Department of Education has developed a new web portal and mobile app to provide support for school governors. The portal can be accessed through the Education Authority website, and the app is available from the Google Play Store for Android users and the iTunes store for Apple users.

John O’Dowd, the minister for education, said: “School governors must be equipped to carry out their role efficiently and effectively, which is why these new resources will prove invaluable as they carry out their duties.”


Bluesky takes in British Geological Survey data

An agreement between the British Geological Survey (BGS) and aerial mapping company Bluesky has provided for a range of geological and geohazard map layers to be made available online at the latter’s mapshop.

The layers cover a variety of physical features and hazards, including groundwater flooding, stability data, geological indicators of flooding and permeability data. They can be used by developers, planners and environmental consultants.  

“These datasets are important tools for those making decisions about new developments, including analysis of flood prediction, prevention and management,” commented Bluesky’s managing director Rachel Tidmarsh. “They complement data already on offer, including height models, a recently launched flood risk map and our range of free data.”


HMRC provides new services for deaf customers

HM Revenue & Customs is piloting new British Sign Language services for its deaf customers, using a video relay with an interpreter via a webcam. The interpreter will be able to talk directly to an HMRC adviser on the phone to create a three way real time conversation.

The department has been working with the Royal Association for Deaf People on the project. The association is also providing a new advocacy and advice service through a video link for more complex issues.


Study shows doctors swamped by clinical documents

Doctors are having to spend at least half of their time on clinical documentation processes, according to a report carried out by research firm Ignetica for voice and language technology company Nuance Communications.

Titled The Clinical Documentation Challenge, it is based on interviews with chief information officers in UK healthcare trusts, and a perception survey of 197 doctors, nurses, therapists and allied roles.

Its top five highlights are that:

  1. 50% or more of a doctor´s time is spent on clinical documentation processes;
  2. 52 minutes per day is spent searching for information;
  3. In 27% of instances of reviewing clinical documentation, the required information was not available or had insufficient detail/clarity at the time required:
  4. 58% of the doctors highlighted that their notes were likely or very likely to be more complete if there was more time to spend on them;
  5. The value of time searching for information is £19,474 per annum for senior doctors.


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