Why are we doing this?

Simple and useful apps on my iPhone make my life easier every day. Over the next few weeks I will talk about a few of them, but for now, I’d like to explain the thinking behind this work.

The small team behind this work believes apps and smartphones have the potential to improve the health and wellbeing of millions of patients and carers. We believe the most open, transparent and effective way to start to work out how, is to ask a simple question and share the findings.

We are not the first team to act on this vision. There are many examples of competitions to develop apps to improve something, e.g. healthy eating in children. So there are lessons to learn from others, that we will act on.

We will reach out in the weeks ahead to discuss with expert friends and colleagues how to make the most of the ideas that come through. I will personally reach out to frontline clinical communities to seek their input, which I expect to be challenging because open innovation and crowdsourcing are not mainstream in clinical culture.

There will surely be concerns about the cost of this project. Please be reassured, the costs are minimal. There is an annual license for the crowdsourcing platform that we are using (Ideascale), which will be used to gather and organise ideas. Team members from the Department will participate as part of their formal role. Judges will not receive payment.

I hope you submit lots of ideas. Keeping in touch with me via Twitter (@SR_disrupt) or this blog. I look forward to reading your comments.


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