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back to article Experts rubbish iPhone for health use

Two NHS mobile equipment specialists have said that the short battery life of Apple's iPhone makes it unsuitable for use in health work Paul Curley, clinical director of IT and consultant surgeon for Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said that his organisation's tests had found that personal digital assistants were viable for …

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Anonymous Coward

yeah right...

only the health sector needs all those features... just make a bloody phone that does the right thing for all of us.

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Only that?

«Curley said the ideal mobile device for use in hospitals would need to allow for a "hot swap" of batteries, without the device closing while these were changed, session persistance and fast log-in and connection. It would also be "ultra portable", have a good battery life, not get too hot while in use and be "cheapish".»

And make coffe, while you're at it, no?

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Re "And make coffe, while you're at it, no?"

Nah, that's what the trainee nurses are for. (Not just that, obviously...)

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Security?

I notice in his Utopian ideal device security isn't mentioned anywhere. This should be the first thing they look at - if a solution can't be delivered securely then it shouldn't be delivered at all!

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Alien

You could carry a spare iPhone battery...

..oh yea, it's shit.

Skeletor will not be happy!!

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"Hot Swap" of batteries?

With an iPhone, ANY swap of batteries by the user would be a nice little "value-adding feature"....

Disclaimer: I run a Blackberry, and hammer it enough to require recharging each night - which is more often than I would like. People around me using iPhones normally need to recharge them through the day, which is just plain nuts!

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Headmaster

iPhone battery cradles

You can get these battery extenders with clip under the iPhone for extra power. They re-charge the device I believe.

Anyway, the new iPad would seem to be the perfect thing, with it's larger screen.

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Boffin

Blackberries FTW

Given the battery life on a BlackBerry, I'd bet on one of those for 24/7 operation. The only way I've ever been able to drain a fully-charged battery is by running a crapload of apps, turning on GPS, WiFi *and* 3G while having a -120 dB signal, while chatting away on MSN Messenger *and* Yahoo Messenger. Even then, it worked for 10 hours on a single charge. I'm pretty sure that without GPS, the battery might even break the 24-hour barrier even with both 3G and WiFi transmitters working.

Also, BlackBerries seem to take a good deal of abuse without breaking... the iBone's main feature is also it's main vulnerability: the touchscreen. It is a nice toy, but it isn't quite cut for serious use.

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WTF?

In other news

Bicycles not suitable for crossing lakes, strawberry jam no use in scanning for security threats at airports.

Many other devices not ideally suited for purposes that they were not designed for.

I can see the point of trying this sort of thing in specialised areas like medicine to see if lower cost kit can be deployed instead of more expensive purpose-built stuff, but why on earth would you be surprised when it does and why on earth would you then issue a press release?

Are they going to issue a follow up saying netbooks aren't suitable to run their back-office IT services on either?

I know, how about:

"NHS mobile equipment specialists unsuitable to provide specialist NHS mobile equipment"?

Looks closer to the mark to me. Or did the definition of "specialist" change when I wasn't looking?

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They'll kill patients!!11!!!11!1!1!!1!

Teh mobilez in hospitols killz teh macheens nad cause teh patient deaths!!!!!!!

Oh, right, it's OK for doctors and nurses to use mobile devices in hospitals but not patients you say? There's something magical about a healthcare professional that makes stops their phone interfering with any electronic equipment -- but a patient's phone would immediately cause all life support machines to die?

Make your minds up NHS, please.

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Follow the money...

Nothing to do with forcing patients to be scalped with the "bedside phone service", you don't think? At approx £4.00 per second?

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FUD

I've been in both Wakefield (numerous times), and Pontefract, and with the exception of the ICU ward, the staff really don't care if you use a mobile as long as it's A) on silent, and B) used quietly.

I regularly used my netbook and USB dongle, and no-one batted an eye.

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No not anymore

They are not bothered by this anymore

BUT ...

They are now trying to ban mobile phones due to patient Privacy Bah ...

I wouldnt care less and obey their rules happily if those bans wernt just in the hospitals with freaking bedside phones !!!!!!!!

Money grabbing tards .....

Leave me and my phone alone ......

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hot swapable battery

I absolutely love the idea of a hot swap battery, my current (winmo) phone also has a v short battery life when i'm working out in the field, I've a spare battery and swap halfway through the day, but it would be so much more convenient if i didn't have to reset the phone and reload all the running apps at the same time.

Good phone design ideas from the NHS.

who'd of thunk it?

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they already have access.....

its on those ridiculously expensive arm-mounted televisions they insisted on putting on every bedside that patients pay a fiver a day for poor television and rubbish internet access. Why dont they have a "doctors and nurses" screen that allows access to what they need? a login option will even track the nurse or doctor who looked at the information.

That way they may not have been the massive waste of money elephant they appeared to be!

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Anonymous Coward

Because...

They don't own the system or the network it's connected to!

They outsourced the patient entertainment and communication to a commercial company, which is why you pay 50p a minute to speak to a sick relative.

If the NHS wanted to use those screens they'd end up handing over huge wedges of cash.

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FAIL

Plus ...

Be able to sanitise wards and look after patients. In other words, it's not gonna happen!

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WTF?

Mystery

As swappable batteries, "session persistance" (which would imply being able to do something else while your application session remains active in the background) and "cheapish" are core requirements, the only mystery here is why they've bothered to consider the iPhone at all.

I guess "must try this 'cos its trendy" overrides the sound technical requirements. Again.

They like Blackberries and need a big screen? I'll have a fiver on the BB Storm2 winning this one....

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Err....

"Curley said the ideal mobile device for use in hospitals would need to allow for a "hot swap" of batteries, without the device closing while these were changed, session persistance and fast log-in and connection. It would also be "ultra portable", have a good battery life, not get too hot while in use and be "cheapish"."

So why bother testing the iPhone? It's common knowledge that it does not meet a number of their criteria, and it sure isn't "cheapish." Sounds like he just wanted to play around with one.

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Wanted to play

Given they also tested a PSP for its suitabiity in the same field, I'm inclined to jump to the same conclusion!

I can't say I'd have been particularly comforted if my doc came round fiddling with a PSP.

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PFI

The more cynical amongst us would possibly think that Blackberry have a deal with the PFI, and that rubbishing any competition a good thing to do.

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Cos if they don't test the iPhone

Everyone will ask why not. "It'd be brilliant, it's so easy to use, blah, blah, blah".

It probably took less time to test the iPhone, and to clearly document it's very specific shortcomings, than it would take to constantly rehash the issue over the next 3 or 4 years when the iPhone isn't "blessed".

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If they find one, can they let me know

working in IT in a medical environment, I would be (even more) popular if i were able to present a mobile information solution, especially if it were 'cheapish'

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Have they tried a lower brightness?

One of the first things I noticed when I started using my iPod Touch was that if I reduce the screen brightness to a lower level that still remains comfortable, I could increase the effective battery life by a considerable amount.

The same works on the iPhone: My wife's iPhone used to last about two to three hours of constant usage, but reducing the brightness of the screen increased that considerably.

We've found that a brightness setting between a 1/3 to 1/2 of maximum is still comfortable to use. The default is full brightness, which consumes much of the battery's power.

-dZ.

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Flame

Android :-)

This is clearly a job for the N1/Milestone, replaceable batteries, and while probably not recommended you can swap them while powering the device through USB.

Nice hi resolution screens and easy as hell to develop for.

Flames for the torrent of iPhone fanbois who will vote this post into the darkest recesses of Hell.

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Not on HTC units

When the G1 and Nexus are on charge (mains or USB) the second the battery is removed they die. Tested on both.

What you want is the hardware spec of the Nexus in a G1 chassis (with that lovely keyboard) and the fat back with an extended range 2200mAh battery. I can get 5 hours continuous* use out of the G1 with one of those in.

*Screen, radios, chip all running. Real use, not this 'standby time' that the vendors pull out of the backside of a unicorn.

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It would be useful to know

Which Blackberry and what types of applications they were testing.

Why would they need a phone? Why wouldn't an iPod Touch suffice?

Article raises more questions than it answers.

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Flame

RTFA much?

They need a phone because they don't have ubiquitous wireless coverage. That was the big strike against the PSP.

Actually reading the article before you post comments would save you time in the long run!

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iPhone not good enough...

.. that'll be what the iPad's for! I can see it now, an iPad for every employee of the NHS - all paid for by us.

just my2p (it's all I've got left)

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Lack of market knowledge..

Still amazes me the lack of market knowledge in IT department...The iPhone has got a variety of hotswap battery packs available....And they work very well...And eh...session persistence does not have to be at the client, but can be on the iPhone as well..All depends on how your server application handles it as well...Not hard to do...

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Coat

... your answer seems 'half' true ...

I immediately pricked up my ears at this comment and went a searching. All I can find are portable 'chargers' / power units ... some of them masquerading as cases etc. Please point me to the solution you are thinking of as I do not believe that plugging in a portable power unit is really what is meant here? I think somebody wants the unit to stay the size of the unit and be able to pop a new battery in without shutting down ... or in the case of the iPhone ... not being able to change the battery at all is a bit of an issue to achieving this ... most of the iPhone solutions double phone size in some or other dimension!

My coat cause I am sure my reply will incur the wrath of some fanbois ...

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Bronze badge

Mobiles in Hospital

I understand that the number of problems caused by mobiles in hospital is in single figures, the biggest problem is those 'screen things' with their £5 a day cost. (Thinks, - is that where five a day came from?). I was told that many hospitals have/had a contract to prevent patients using mobile phones so that they would be forced onto those 5-a-day boxes.

As for using the iPhone, I guess that it is good to use off the shelf kit and good that this time it IS being piloted first, but no surprised that it has failed. Many people I know would like the iPhone to be able to make telephone calls, when they want to make them and not just if it decides to allow them to connect.

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Jobs Halo

Problem solved

Stick on a Mophie Juice Pack, or some such battery extender, and there you have it, more than double the battery life and hot swapable!

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Problem Solved Properly

Avoid proprietary crap that will lock you in to Jobs and is though police.

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FAIL

What Pete B Said...

Never mind the f-ing battery life! I don't want my medical data put on any smart phone, the risk of it being lost, stolen or corrupted is far too great.

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FAIL

Jeezo

I work in Public Sector too, we've got the same problems. But they are self inflicted problems, why use a smart phone to do these jobs when a good tablet PC meets all requirements?

Iphone is no good if you need to use it all day, but then even if it had the battery life you'd have square eyes at the end of a day, an ipad might do what they need. But then whats so wrong with a decent tablet P?

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cynicism required

Most posts on here seem to rubbish the whole concept but maybe the idea of some standardisation is a good one, perhaps then they can get software written for less than 12 billion pounds?

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jai
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Curley said the ideal mobile device for use in hospitals would....

...would be the MOOOOOOON onna stick!! that's what Curley wants, the MOOOOOOOON onna STICK!!!!

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exactly

and he wants santa claus to be his manufacturer and the stork his delivery service, when it's not busy in the maternity ward, that is.

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Paris Hilton

"Hello we is experts"

Anyone else remember that scene from Ali G the movie? I wonder if it was at bit like that when they were doing there review...

Paris, because she is an expert at some thing.... not too sure what... one day we will all find out...

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It already exists

The MediSlat MCA i1040XT already meets almost all of these needs and has network security at an acceptable level as it runs Windows XP Pro or Vista Business editions. It even allows for hot swapping batteries.

OK, it's not cheap, but it's fit for purpose, proven and available.

What's even more amazing is it took me 10 minutes to find this product via Google and didn't involve an expensive trial period of inappropriate technology.

Read more here:

http://www.tabletkiosk.com/products/medislate/i1040xt_overview.asp

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Anonymous Coward

RE: It already exists

I think something like this was on the register a few weeks back, with a comparison to the imaxiPad. And when you say its fit for purpose, you are exactly right, none of the things that they tested, the iphone or blackberry are fit for use in the medical sector. How are you going to disinfect them without damaging the device.

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WTF?

Or some WinCE derived device?

I was thinking there has to be something bespoke out there. Any WinCE device with oversize battery is sure to do it!?!

This stuff has been in use in warehouses and shop floors for years...

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Big Brother

Lipo Hell

Lithium polymer batteries are too dangerous to be user-replaceable, which is why as they are adopted, they are sealed inside.

Maybe there is a more expensive battery available that they can have soldered inside by a bespoke supplier?

I jut put a new chinese battery in my iPhone 2G and the battery life is much higher than it ever was with the original one, even when new, and the mAh is higher.

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FAIL

Scans for Dianosis?

Besides all the great points made above (and the fact there are tons of specialized portable devices already made for the medical industry) WTF are they on about viewing medical scans on a hand held device!!!! Are medical professionals so enamored with electronic gadgets that they want to view medical imagery on an iPhone or BlackBerry?

Portable devices for recording and reviewing general patient observations and medications, and such is a good idea, using them for imagery is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard.

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Stop

Don't even try it

I work in radiology and promise you that I will personally track down and eviscerate any clinician attempting to provide a diagnosis by viewing scans (of any sort) on an iPhone.

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FAIL

NHS Staff here - we already knew that

Where have these guys been?

We already knew that, its so last year (and the one before it)

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Jobs Horns

Hot swap battery??

There is no such thing as a mobile device with a hot swap battery, while not shutting down. The thing RUNS ON A BATTERY. YOU TAKE THE BATTERY OUT, and NO POWER. DUH!!!! At least with a Blackberry, YOU CAN swap batteries. With the iPhone, no go. The iPhone wasn't designed for any sort of "work". It's a consumer device. NOT a business mobile like the Blackberry.

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living under a rock (iraq?)

there are at least six manufacturers that produce external battery packs for the iPhone. as long as the phone battery isn't utterly drained, the external battery can be swapped out without shutting down the phone. try reading the comments sometime, this has been mentioned several times already. oh i forgot, you were using your blackberry.

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Jobs Horns

A hot swap battery

could be in a device with two batteries- one fixed internal to keep it powered up for maybe 1minute after you've removed the device (at, say, one watt of power- screen off and just keeping the RAM and a few other bits live- that'd mean a tiny 0.017Wh battery, which would be a small lithium coin-cell style battery) and one swappable main battery. Main battery, when plugged in, would charge smaller battery while simultaneously keeping the device live.

So to throw it back at you, YOU USE TWO BATTERIES. DUH!!!

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