Charity to subsidize physicians' mobile apps

By Brian Dolan

iPhone in the UKAn online survey conducted of 474 health professionals registered to practice in the United Kingdom, found that 80 percent rely on a mobile phone at work. The survey, which was conducted by non-profit d4, found that respondents used mobiles at work for a variety of reasons:

Some 82 percent of the healthcare professionals surveyed said they used mobiles to communicate with their colleagues. About 46 percent of the respondents said they used mobiles to access information on their corporate intranet or the Internet.

The survey also found that while a clear majority use their mobiles for work purposes, only 8 percent of respondents received some form of compensation for using their mobiles on the job.

The non-profit that conducted the survey, d4 seeks to support healthcare providers in the UK by equipping them with subsidized mobile phones and medical apps. The group estimates that poor communication costs the UK's hospitals in England an excess of more than $1.5 billion in wasted doctor and nurse time.

“We know that the ability to share information and ideas quickly is a cornerstone of modern medicine, but the problem is that the cost of mobile technology use within the NHS is largely borne by the individual," Chairman and Senior Medical Trustee of d4, Professor Michael Orme stated in the press release. "Health professionals should be supported to use innovative, cost-effective technologies to help deliver improved patient care.”

Here's how d4 describes its mandate: "Supported by practicing clinicians, d4’s overarching goal is to provide health professionals with mobile devices and key applications at prices that are lower than those offered through typical retail channels. This will be achieved in a manner similar to that of a co-operative, by harnessing the buying power of health professionals – one of the largest sectors of the UK workforce – with over 1.4 million registered in the UK. d4 was born out of the realisation that more could be done to help improve professional access to mobile technology and ultimately improve patient safety, care and outcomes and reduce cost of ownership for the individual."

As part of its launch, d4 announced a planned partnership with Happtique, the online smartphone apps store for healthcare professionals that we reported on earlier this year. Happtique also aims to bring down the costs of medical apps for physicians and other healthcare professionals by creating a store that allows users to buy apps in bulk for discounted rates.

More on d4 here