University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is developing and deploying a range of mobile apps and creating an internal app store for staff.

Chief information officer James Thomas said his department had secured significant funding to take forward its mobile apps programme and was pioneering different routes for development.

The trust is working with existing commercial partner CGI on an app called ‘find my patient’, which pulls information from the electronic patient recordsystem about bed occupancy. This is in beta testing.

It is also developing apps using G-Cloud purchased cloud services. These focus on bed availability and bed state and five to six are already live or in pilot testing.

“Part of this is working out what is the best model of delivery for developing apps. We’re trying the G-Cloud, external partners or existing partners, and internal resource as well,” Thomas explained.

The trust also has a multi-disciplinary committee evaluating health-focused apps that are already in the market to determine which are safe and relevant for its own use. It will ultimately create an internal app store that its staff can refer to.

University College London Hospital uses the legacy CareCast patient administration system and A&E system supplied by GE Healthcare.

Wrapped around this is a clinical data repository, developed in conjunction with CGI. It makes quarterly releases of new functionality every year.

The trust has bought some iPads and iPhones and has implemented a ‘bring your own device’ strategy using mobile device management.

Connected staff can access trust emails on their devices and the IT will be developing access to the trust intranet and the data store over the next four months. Ultimately, Thomas believed around 500 devices could be connected.

“We are not doing purchase your own device, but if you think that using your device would help you do your job because you want to do it that way, you can bring it in. If you need an iPhone or iPad to do your job we will purchase one,” he said.

The trust has also developed an app for its foundation trust members, to let them know what is going on and improve communications with them, using another commercial partner.