Our Thinking
From Paper to iPad: digitising patient records
20 September 2012 | Posted by Stephen Mahood


In 2008 Kainos signed contracts with Ipswich NHS, our first Trust in England, to develop a technology solution to convert half a million paper patient records to electronic patient records.

Kainos designed a solution that scanned the paper records (digitised them) and stored them in a document management repository, using Meridio software. All fairly traditional stuff for Kainos. More about that story here.

However, we quickly realised that we were not only building a smart solution, but we were doing something that had not been done very well before, and that was solving a problem common to all hospitals in the UK (and probably everywhere else as well!). So we wondered if we could turn this one off development into a standalone product. The answer was yes – and Evolve was born!

Now a fully integrated Electronic Medical Record (EMR) solution, Evolve is deployed in nine hospitals and is one of Kainos’ strongest offerings in healthcare.

Mobile Patient Records

That was three years ago and the world has changed (again!). Now everything is about mobility, including patient records. So we commissioned some R&D to investigate how clinicians might interact with a mobile Evolve. We developed a prototype application for the iPad and presented the idea to the Evolve Clinical Reference Group, where we received mixed responses. The feedback on the application itself was extremely positive, but the group highlighted concerns about information security and the management of devices.

Making patient data available to users on mobile devices raises technical challenges AND cultural, financial and political challenges that require careful thought. Over the last year we have sought to address these using a team of skilled developers, testers and graphic designers. This team developed a rapid proof of concept investing a lot of time in design to ensure an intuitive and practical user experience (UX). They were particularly keen to give the app had the sleek look and feel expected of an iPad app. Following months of development, they launched the new – Evolve for iPad in May.

And the response? Clinicians are really excited about Evolve’s new mobile capability! In fact, we’ve already deployed the app to a number of customers! We’ve also worked hard to ensure that the security of the app is robust – we understand the absolute importance of keeping our customer’s data safe. Some more about that particular challenge in my subsequent article …

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