The success of the NHS Antibiotic Guidelines app is evident with the unprecedented number of downloads and current usage. The app was initially aimed at the ~3,000 GPs and clinicians in the immediate NHS Hampshire and The Isle of Wight trust. However, this has expanded to GPs and clinicians throughout the UK and worldwide, with downloads currently in excess of 25,000. Furthermore, the introduction of the mobile app has seen significant savings in the consultation and publishing of guideline updates. The app delivers information in a clear, concise and intuitive way, providing the most up-to-date guidelines for prescribing antibiotics.
With the ever-increasing awareness surrounding the effective prescribing of antibiotics, NHS Hampshire and The Isle of Wight, one of the UK’s largest NHS Trusts approached Blue Frontier with a project brief to develop a mobile app that could deliver up-to-date guidelines for the prescribing of antibiotics to GPs and clinicians throughout the Trust and beyond.
Previously the NHS Trust and their multi-disciplinary guideline development group spent considerable time and effort consulting on the latest recommendations in the delivery and prescribing of antibiotics in hospitals and clinics in order to publish periodic pdf and paper-based literature.
To improve the service and reduce cost, they had envisaged an electronic publication that could be updated regularly or on an adhoc basis by authorised NHS personnel within a secure web portal and deliver the up to date content to mobile and tablet devices.
With a business objective and an electronic copy of the latest publication we began with a wireframing exercise to produce design concepts and mockups of the proposed mobile application.
The project incorporated a wide range of skills from within the Blue Frontier team, to include mobile developers for both the iOS and Android platforms, as well as PHP developers who with an in-depth knowledge of the Joomla CMS platform were tasked with developing a custom component for the collation and categorisation of articles as part of the required web portal for the input of guideline content and with a means to prepare that same content for delivery to the mobile and tablet devices.
The mobile applications were developed in tandem with both iOS and Android developers collaborating to ensure the user interface for both platforms was consistent, yet in keeping with the user experience expected of both platforms.
The mobile applications were designed with full rotation capability and developed with offline use at the forefront of functional considerations. Both platforms made use of the SQLite database architecture to maintain an offline set of guideline content and made regular checks to the online Joomla store for content updates which would notify the device user and prompt them to download the latest content.
Allowing changes to the article categorisation, the mobile applications were built to structure and manage the content dynamically, so providing a robust framework that would fit the business requirement for years to come, whilst the Joomla custom component was hosted securely within the NHS network for internal use only.
Improving on other recognised limitations of the pdf or printed formats, the mobile application offers a comprehensive searching tool that can display related articles containing the provided search term, which would provide a significant saving on GP and clinician time when consulting the guidelines.
To enhance the mobile application further, we made use of the device location to provide an up-to-date view of pharmacies within the surrounding area which was overlaid on map interface.