Where can you go to get evidence-based, best-in-class guidance for promoting wellbeing and preventing ill health? Simple: just check your Windows 8.1 device.
Whether you’re working at a NHS trust, a local authority, a volunteer group or any other organisation involved in delivering care, access to guidance from The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is now just a click away. Thanks to Microsoft partner Cloud2, NICE Guidance is now available as a Windows 8.1 app for the first time.
With the NICE app, you can get guidance on everything from clinical and diagnostic procedures to medical technologies and public health, all in one place. And because Windows 8.1 runs on a variety of form factors – including laptops, tablets and convertible devices such as Surface 2 – it’s easy to take the guidance with you, even when you need to work on the move.
More than 760 pieces of NICE guidance are available, arranged by clinical or public health topic, guidance type and treatment or devices. The app is automatically updated via the internet whenever new content is published by NICE.
Particular sections can be bookmarked for easy access. In a development exclusive to the Windows 8.1 version, users can send articles to other applications or send via e-mail if required. Other features include topic search and filtering, a very fast, colour coded user interface adjustable font size for readability, and the ability to ‘swipe’ between chapters when looking at guidance. The display also dynamically adjusts for use on portrait or landscape mode screens.
Cloud2’s app is the first of its kind for the Windows 8.1 store. In late 2012, Cloud2 recognised that the excellent NICE Guidance resources were available on the web and as iOS and Android apps but not on Windows. As Windows 8 is a natural fit for the NHS, Cloud2 felt that clinicians should have a good Windows 8 app, and so they set about building one for NICE, with help from Intel and Microsoft. The app’s prototype was developed with Cloud2 partner Bliss Systems. After a challenging but rewarding development period, the application became available in December, 2013.
Feedback from users has been universally excellent. However several have observed that they prefer to use localised versions of the Guidance. Cloud2 are currently evaluating whether this can be a commercially viable option to offer, based on a similar API approach allowing users to upload their own variants on the guidance, if they wish. Cloud2 are also working on versions of the app for Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT, as well as continuing to make improvements to the original app.