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NDL helps public sector go mobile on Apple

22 April 2013

NDL releases latest version of mobile working toolkit, MX, now with support for Apple devices as part of a package of upgrades

Specialist software house NDL has upgraded its mobile working toolkit, MX, to support Apple’s IOS operating system for the first time, along with a range of other new features. The move is in response to both increased Apple uptake in the NHS, and to the widely predicted boom in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), which was highlighted recently by both the Information Commissioner’s Office* and Gartner**.

The sixth version (V6) of NDL’s MX toolkit will continue to support all major operating systems including Windows, BlackBerry and Android. V6 will be available to all of NDL’s existing customers as part of their current licences.

NDL’s managing director, Declan Grogan, commented: “Within the NHS in particular, we are seeing more Trusts opting for Apple devices and Gartner expects that by 2014 Apple will be seen as much a part of an organisation’s IT infrastructure as Microsoft. Our latest release is about responding to this trend and offering our customers increased flexibility so, if they need to, they can deploy apps already built using MX on to Apple without having to re-write them. We have seen Trusts make huge investments in Apple devices and we really want them to get the most from that investment.

“Another factor that will increasingly affect our customers is BYOD; the Information Commissioner’s Office is already reporting that 47% of UK adults use a personal device for work and Gartner is predicting that by 2016 50% of all apps will be hybrid across all operating systems in order to accommodate BYOD.  These studies underline how important it for public sector bodies to consider what apps need to do both now, and in the future, in order to ensure scarce resources are invested wisely.”

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) was the first Trust to use the new version of MX and, as project manager Jamie King explained, benefitted from the increased flexibility in the trial phase, before making the decision to use the Android operating system. Jamie commented: “We realised that device choice was key to the successful implementation of our mobile working project which aims to make collecting data for CQUIN, a department of health directive, more efficient. The flexibility of NDL’s software allowed us to conduct trials of both Android and Apple devices without having to build the apps twice.

“NDL’s software allows apps to be transferred between operating systems and also ‘naturalises’ that app to the operating system. In other words, an app on an Apple device will look like an Apple app while the same app on an Android system will look like an Android app. These touches really transform the user experience and ensure a ‘fair test’, so we pick the device which best fits clinicians’ needs and our budgets. As a result of the trials we are now confident that Android is the right choice for us.”