Apple has partnered with IBM on ‘IBM MobileFirst for iOS’ to develop four new eHealth apps especially for nurses who work in hospitals and provide home-based care.

The agreement between the two giants was originally announced in July 2014 followed by the release of 10 enterprises mobile apps in December 2014. A second batch of apps was released in March 2015, including the eHealth apps Hospital RN, Hospital Lead, Hospital Tech and Home RN; bringing the total number of apps to 22.

Hospital RN essentially replaces a nurse’s pager and phone with an iPhone, allowing them to quickly access patient records and task organisation tools. The app uses iBeacon technology – Apple’s Bluetooth low-energy wireless technology that provides location-based information and services to iPhones and other iOS devices – to identify patients and display notifications, including status updates on hospital equipment that is offline, backups at the lab and patient requests.

The Hospital Lead app, designed especially for iPads, is intended for nurses and case managers who run a hospital department to help monitor patient progress. The app aims to help nurses better manage caseloads by combining real-time information from several databases into a dashboard.

Hospital Tech for iPhone is intended to help nursing assistants and technicians better organise and prioritise tasks. The app accesses task prioritisation and patient logistics planning alongside key systems of record, including demographics, diagnosis, orders, care plans and average length of stay information.

The final eHealth app, Home RN, is intended for nurses who provide home-based care, allowing them to remotely upload text, video and photos to a patient’s medical record. The app also provides recommended aftercare plans and discharge instructions based on location and hospital care team notes.

Other apps released by IBM MobileFirst for iOS target industries associated with industrial production, travel and transportation, retail, banking, telecommunications and insurance. The partnership aims to have 100 apps available by the end of 2015.

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