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Switching on

Healthcare via text messaging A

new mobile messaging scheme trialled recently in

the Midlands is set to revolutionize the way the National Health Service interacts with patients. Known to patients as Florence

(after Florence Nightingale), the technology is ready to be rolled out nationally and has already been commissioned for 19 NHS care trusts and GP consortia. T e system is described as an in-

novation which will provide care at a fraction of the cost of alternative solutions. One of the participat- ing trusts expects to save around £20,000 per month, and if taken up nationally the system might save the NHS more than £80 mil- lion in a year. “Texting and using mobile

phones for socializing through to shopping is now commonplace in people’s everyday lives, from young to older age groups and all walks of life”, said Gary Bury, managing director of the mobile text market- ing agency Mediaburst, which developed Florence in conjunction with the Stoke-on-Trent PCT. “Our new Florence text message

healthcare system works on the same principles as it would for brands using mobile messaging to interact with consumers about products and services. But when applied to the NHS, it is changing lives and bringing major benefi ts to those with long-term health conditions.” Patients who opt into the

Electricity operator’s MPT upgrade


ield activities of the power company SSE (formerly

Scottish and Southern Energy) are to be supported by the radiocommunications specialist Team Simoco, which has gained a new contract for SSE’s PMR network across its distribution areas in the north of Scotland and the south of England. In the fi rst stage of the fi ve-

Out and about: patients can interact with Florence wherever they are

self-care service receive appropri- ate communication via SMS. T is reduces the need for visits by health professionals, trips to health centres or even residence in care homes.

Automated, intuitive Florence assists with the manage- ment of a medical condition through regular, automated text messages. It provides an immediate response and alerts as well as advice and behaviour-changing protocols, helping patients to take action at appropriate times. When patients submit readings, data collection and analysis are automated and do not require a clinician. Clinicians can then use Flor-

ence’s mobile web app or web interface to fi ne-tune the patient’s healthcare, saving time and cost for both the patient and clinician.

“In developing Florence, we

looked at applications in the health sector that utilise mobile and we were surprised to see how limited are they in their functional- ity”, Gary Bury said. “T ere is a school of thought that telehealth providers weren’t off ering cheaper solutions because this would mean reducing profi ts on these out-of- date models and systems.” And he added: “Florence has

been designed by the NHS for the NHS, and is compliant with clinical protocols and uses experi- ence of tried and tested techniques and technology. We have a model which is reliable, flexible and can grow as healthcare requirements develop and change over time, and now healthcare providers can employ one application that can perform in all medical scenarios, now and in the future.”

Engineering fi rm’s big mast project C

Telecoms mast by the steel fabricators Hutchinson Engineering

heshire company Hutchinson Engineering is

celebrating its biggest contract win since the fi rm began 32 years ago. It has gained work worth an estimated £8 million for Telefónica UK and Vodafone. As part of their joint project

known as Cornerstone, the two mobile phone operators have commissioned Hutchinson Engineering to design and manufacture around 60 masts per month to meet the growing


demands of network traffi c. “Our innovative structure

designs are the most technically advanced, giving clients a wider choice of antenna and radio options”, said Dean Drinkwater, managing director of Hutchinson Engineering. “We’re proud of the fact that we build what are considered to be among the most aesthetically-pleasing telecoms structures in the UK.” The company employs 76

people at three sites in Widnes. LAND mobile October 2011

year programme, Team Simoco has completed a detailed assessment of SSE Telecoms’ operational requirements. Following SSE’s acceptance

of a detailed functional design specifi cation, Team Simoco will now install equipment which includes the company’s Xfi n technology, an IP-based MPT 1327 trunked radio system.

Service delivery “Team Simoco offered us a single source for the design, manufacturing and installation of our next-generation communications system”, commented Neil Hutchings, managing director of Telecoms & Utility Solutions. “Their leading- edge technology, together with their expertise, professionalism and commitment to delivering our specifi c requirements set them apart. Their recommendations and support over the coming years will be integral to our growth and service delivery plans.”

Power utility SSE: its fi eld operations are to be supported by an advanced, IP- based trunked radio system

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