NHS England has received more than 220 applications from 140 trusts for the first round of the Nursing Technology Fund.

The fund, which was first announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in October 2012, opened for bids in December last year, giving trusts a month to complete applications.

The first round of funding will see £30m given to projects which can be delivered this financial year while the remaining £70m is available as a second round of funding for the 2014-2015 financial year.

It will fund mobile and digital technology to allow nurses, midwives and care staff to work more flexibly and effectively. NHS England says this will increase patient safety, create a better patient experience and reduce paperwork.

Jane Cummings, NHS England’s chief nursing officer, said the number of applications shows a desire to embrace modern technology.

“Mobile and digital equipment can really benefit busy nurses, midwives and care staff. For example mobile technology can mean a community nurse doesn’t have to spend as much time travelling to and from the office, which means more time spent caring for patients and quick access to key information at the touch of a button means that staff can carry out their job more effectively,” she said.

“Health demands have changed dramatically over the years and it is important we have a modern NHS that is capable of meeting the challenges this brings. Effective use of technology is a major part of this.”

In the first round, trusts could apply for funding for digital pens, mobile technology, systems for the collection and logging of vital signs and systems for uploading essential clinical information to digital care records.

NHS England is reviewing applications and says it will announce the successful bids later this year.

The deadline for expressions of interest for the remaining £70m for next financial year closes on Wednesday 26 February.