Pulse Health - Secure Communication & Community Platform for NHS & Social Care
Pulse Health App uses a ‘Data Protection by Design and Default’ approach
The Pulse of the NHS
Pulse Health App is a rapidly-developing platform with new features, improvements and enhancements being added on a regular basis. New challenges evolve as we progress. We work closely with our end users and organisations to continually adapt to new challenges and constantly deliver value to the Health and Social Care sector.
Pulse Health App is a FREE, secure instant message communication platform designed for the NHS, available on iOS, Android and Web. Available through the NHS Apps Library and authorised by NHSx. Designed collaboratively by doctors, nurses and managers, Pulse Health App provides a secure platform for clinical and non-clinical communication.
Free to end users, with a ‘Free Tier’ available to NHS and Social Care organisations, Pulse Health App is the sensible choice for both clinical and non-clinical communication throughout the NHS and Social Care sector. Organisations can procure the ‘Licensed Tier’ for additional benefits through the ‘Clinical Communication Tools Framework’ delivered through NHSx.
Communication amongst healthcare professionals is moving away from the traditional email, the extension number and the archaic bleep system. Users require instant messaging. It is inefficient to log on to a computer and find a contact, bleep them and await a call-back. Doctors, nurses, managers and all other employees within the healthcare sector are using mobile phones and instant messaging solutions, such as WhatsApp, to organise themselves.
The use of WhatsApp and other unauthorised third-party social media/instant messaging systems by healthcare professionals is endemic. This poses a significant risk to the individual, the organisation, the NHS and the patient. Off-the-shelf products are often not end-to-end encrypted, nor are they designed for the purpose of healthcare provision.
Whilst applications such as WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, images can integrate with the cloud, messages can be accidentally sent to personal contacts, and messages are not always anonymised to avoid data breaches. Moreover, their servers are located outside the UK and are difficult to access in the event of any data breaches using UK laws.
By developing Pulse Health App alongside doctors, nurses, managers and other clinical and non-clinical staff, we were able to identify numerous ‘pain points’. Many clinical teams used WhatsApp, which encroached on an individual’s personal life, making it difficult for individuals to have a healthy work-life balance. It was often difficult to identify an individual or obtain a number to contact them directly. WhatsApp groups created siloed working and teams. Pulse Health App directly addresses these ‘pain points’ to develop the Pulse Health App you see today.
Pulse Health App was launched in summer 2020 after four years of research, development, testing, piloting and collaboration alongside the NHS, AHSN networks, Innovate UK, and the European Union European Regional Development Fund.