This week's app round-up is preoccupied with overflowing emergency departments and whether an app can be used to convince patients to go elsewhere. On the other end of the spectrum, a US company wants to keep you calm with an app that alerts you every time your breathing become "tense".


Cut the queues

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust has decided to tackle the long queues faced at its emergency department with the new app, WaitLess. The app combines waiting times at all urgent care centres and current travel information to decide where patients should go to receive the timeliest care.

John Ribchester, clinical lead for the Encompass Project the commissioned the app, said, “this is the first app of its kind in the UK – other apps use waiting time information but this is the first to combine with travel times, which as we know can be unpredictable in Kent”.


Live Wait Times

Wales also faces the problem of long waiting times, and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has teamed up with the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust to use the app, Live Wait Times. The app tells users how many people are waiting at different hospitals and the current waiting times.

Nigel Lee, the Health Board’s director of secondary care, said the app was “a great way for people who have been injured to work out where is the best place to go to get seen with a minimum of delay”.


Pre-plan with prescriptions

Online pharmacy Dimec is allowing users to order repeat prescriptions straight from a smartphone or tablet. Syncing up with your local GP surgery and providing reminders, the app cuts queuing to pick up your medications. There is further NHS IT systems integration underway, in conjunction with NHS Digital, to enable patients to hold a secure, local temporary-offline copies of their repeat drug & allergy history.

Thrive on games

Thrive, a software company that develops mental health gaming apps, has raised half a million pounds for new software treatments. Using gamification and augmented reality, Thrive currently has three apps that its claims helps users overcome fear of spiders, fear of open spaces and treat depression respectively. 

An app to track your “state of mind”

Spire makes the bold claim that it is the “first wearable that tracks physical movement and state of mind”. By attaching the clip to your belt, the app can measure your breathing patterns, and, through this, track your emotions throughout the day, the company claims. Created in the US, the app will tell you when your breathing is tense and remind you to breathe deeply. Just the sort of alert guaranteed to make you feel calm and collected…