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Home > News > Trainee doctors win bid for new smartphone app to help confused patients

Trainee doctors win bid for new smartphone app to help confused patients

Posted on Wednesday 29th May 2013
christy and selina

L-R: Christy Gardner and Selina Sangha

Two trainee doctors at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle are producing a smartphone app aimed at helping trainees understand the needs of patients with confusion. The duo were recently announced as one of the winners of Health Education England’s Better Training Better Care programme’s Inspire Improvement! project.

Health Education England has funded eight trainee-led projects that will improve trainees’ training and education, and in turn, improve patient care. From apps or training, to databases or mentoring, the winning projects either have a local focus or impact the role of the trainee on a national level. The projects must also be sustainable, even long after the original trainees have moved on.

Selina Sangha and Christy Gardner who have both been trainees with North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust for two years, are now currently talking to companies who will design their educational and bedside ‘confusion app’ for smartphones. The app will be free and available nationally.

Selina explains more about the app: “our idea for an app to assist in cognitive assessment and investigation of confused patients was put together with the help of Dr Jim George, an elderly care consultant at the Cumberland Infirmary. We applied in March and then I went to London with Dr George to present in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch during the shortlisting process. We were delighted to be selected as one of the eight winners from around 200 applicants.

“The app will include tips on how to assess patients with confusion – things we should be picking up on and questions to ask. There will also be a drugs section with advice on which drugs to use and which to stop and there will be an educational element with case studies to run through. The app will be for day-to-day use on the wards and for teaching and will be useful for both trainees and nursing staff. Treating patients with confusion can be very complex therefore we felt that an easy-to-use app with tips and guidelines could prove to be very useful.”

The Trust has recently analysed feedback from Dr George’s dementia e-learning programme which has been very successful and this was used as a basis for the development of the app. Dr George and Selina Sangha are presenting a poster evaluation the dementia e-learning package at the National Audit of Dementia Day on 12 July in London.

Selina and Christy hope to launch the app at the Northern Deanery induction in August 2013 when new trainees will start. They are both attending a Health Education England conference in London on 7 June which will showcase the winning projects from the Inspire Improvement! project.