Our Mindfulness Mountain Challenge

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MIA Mental Health

2017 will see the launch of a new Isosec app, MIA Mental Health. MIA Mental Health is clinical mobile app to improve efficiency and patient care for mental health pathways. A rapid observations app is used to make observations on a tablet device, rather than on paper. Previously, notes had to be rekeyed into the Trust’s EPR, a duplication of tasks for the clinician and wasting valuable time. MIA Mental Health will sync notes automatically, use colour coded notifications to show which patients need attention, plus everything will be geotagged and digitally signed for better compliance and information governance. We have seen such amazing benefits and savings with MIA Maternity and hope that our current work with Mental Health professionals will benefit this area of healthcare in the same way.

To celebrate this good news, we’ve chosen Manchester Mind as our charity of the year 2017.

About Manchester Mind

Manchester Mind (registered charity number 1102058) was established in 1989. They are an independent charity providing support for 4,000+ people experiencing emotional or mental distress across our city.

In Britain in any one year, 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health issue. Poor mental health can affect anyone – rich or poor, young or old, at work, within your family or circle of friends. It can shatter the lives of the people affected and the lives of those close to them.

Manchester Mind‘s aims are…

  • Address the effects of poverty, insecurity and poor physical health on mental health
  • Help people to manage their lives and to make positive choices with skill and confidence
  • Promote and create opportunities for people to contribute to their communities
  • Provide information and advice to people to meet their needs and raise awareness about mental health within our city

Their services tackle the root of poor mental health e.g. isolation, poverty, poor housing, lack of access to services, stigma and discrimination, lack of confidence and skills, or aim to help people to improve their quality of life if living with a long-term mental illness. Manchester Mind recognises people’s strengths and involve people in the services delivered to ensure they remain relevant and helpful.

Manchester Mind Logo

What We Hope To Achieve

In 2016 Isosec raised £1000 for last year’s chosen charity, Bliss. Through our work with Bliss we improved care for families with premature babies. Together we introduced a checkbox into our mobile app MIA Maternity so Midwives were reminded of the family’s specific needs. This year we hope to do the same for better mental health care.

We are climbing Scafell Pike in August to raise awareness and funds for Manchester Mind. It’s an uphill struggle and we want to challenge ourselves for those who struggle in day-to-day life with mental illness.

Our Mindfulness Mountain Challenge will be all about appreciating nature, exercise and healthy living through Mindfulness and we hope to use some of the techniques we’ve learnt from Manchester Mind to get us up that mountain!

Please donate whatever you can to support us with our challenge! Each member of the team is very passionate about this cause and we’re working hard to make sure the challenge is a success and Manchester Mind gains all the support they deserve. You can keep up with more of our fundraising adventures on Twitter @isosec.

How Digital Technology Improves Staff Satisfaction in the NHS

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The staff are what keeps the NHS on its feet. They are the ones who ensure everything runs as it should, despite cuts to funding for services, despite having more complex health needs to treat, despite waiting on that long overdue pay rise. The NHS staff are the heroes of our healthcare system, they stay late after their long shifts, kindly talk patients through any concerns and are somehow able to stay calm while their establishment crumbles around them in an uncertain political and economic climate. As a result of this, staff satisfaction in the NHS is critically low.

In midwifery especially, for example, there is a huge concern over staff retention in the field, as is the case across several NHS disciplines. In the RCM’s 2016 Report ‘Why Midwives Leave’ it states that there is a current shortage of 3,500 midwives with an increase of around 100,000 births since 2002. A band six midwife has even seen pay decrease of £4000!

The same report and comprehensive survey states that the overarching reason for midwives leaving was due to staffing, workload and not enough time to spend with women to deliver the high quality care they needed.

What if there were ways that Trust’s could support their staff to deliver this higher quality care? By minimising unproductive tasks like unnecessary admin and travel, staff can spend time on what’s important and increase the time they spend doing what they trained to do – to help deliver care.

With our mobile digital solution MIA, we are increasingly finding that staff satisfaction is one of our top benefits.

Maternity iPad NHS

At one Trust last year, after a forward-thinking Lead Midwife and her community team saw the value of implementing efficient technology, and their Bradford score improved by 74%. Implementing MIA Maternity was not the only thing the team did, of course, they also improved Wi-Fi availability in their community hubs and introduced mobile workstations. But with a mobile solution like MIA, that works online or offline to complete clinical notes they are saving on average of 5 hours a week, per midwife; and the tasks they are cutting back on are the ones that make them unhappy at work!

This comes from not having to travel back to base at the end of the day to re-key paper notes into the Trust’s EPR, because MIA synchronises them transparently. It comes from not misplacing files or valuable forms because they’re digitised and accessible on a tablet device from anywhere, improving team information sharing. It means that midwives can now get home on time at the end of their shift, where before they had to fight over too few workstations back at base to type their notes up.

Very few, if any, NHS clinical staff do what they do because they want to spend time on admin, paperwork and getting stuck in traffic. These unnecessary tasks are stressful and stressed-out staff do not deliver the best care possible because they are worried about other things. By introducing smart technology like MIA a Trust is investing in its staff, giving them the best tools in order for them to deliver the best care.

It’s not just maternity that MIA can help with, any clinical paper process in the NHS can benefit from an agile development approach into a streamlined digitised solution. Check out our website to read about our other solutions, download brochures and find our more about improving staff satisfaction in the NHS. Any questions? Why not tweet us @isosec.

The WannaCry ransomware and how it (doesn’t) affect us

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There’s been a great deal in the news over the past few days about the already infamous “WannaCry” (AKA “WannaCrypt”, “WanaCrypt0r”, “Wanna Decryptor” etc.) malware that’s spread like wildfire across the world, most notably infecting numerous NHS trusts. You may not already know that Isosec was built from a security background, we have cybersecurity expertise spanning 50 years. With this in mind we thought we’d let you know just what on earth is going on, how it might affect you, and how it, thankfully, doesn’t affect Isosec (despite the similarities in the name of other companies involved!).

What is it?

First and foremost we go onto the question that’s on most people’s minds; just what exactly is this thing? Well, “WannaCrypt” is a type of malware (malicious software) known as “ransomware”, which is software that will encrypt all of your most important files and folders, and then quite literally hold them ransom, asking you to make a payment in order to decrypt them for use (which more often than not is the worst possible thing you can do).

Now that the technical jargon is out of the way, a practical example. You receive an email with an attachment, you open this attachment and it runs a program on your computer, this program locks away all of your files with a password you don’t know, and then demands a sum of money in return for that password. Sound bad? It is! Ransomware has been around for many years in various forms, but what’s getting worse is not so much the programs themselves, but the way in which they spread.

In the case of “WannaCry”, the evidence thus far suggests that it’s capable of spreading across the entirety of a local network with ease, infecting every other computer on the network that isn’t up to date enough to protect against the vulnerability. Now if the “not up to date” part of that spiked your interest, that’s for good reason…

Staying safe

Whilst the usual security principles come into play here – always run an active anti-virus and keep a malware scanner to hand, don’t open unknown attachments, stay away from unfamiliar websites etc. – there is one that rises above all others in terms of importance; keep your computer up to date. The vulnerability in Microsoft’s Windows product that allowed the “WannaCry” attack to take place was fixed back in March of this year, meaning that the average computer was already safe by the time the attack began. But if you don’t regularly update – and don’t have automatic updates switched on – then you were, and possibly still are, at risk.

How this (doesn’t) affect Isosec

Due to the nature of Ransomware, attacks such as these are unlikely to affect us as a company. Our internal security policies keep us out of harms reach, and the fact we ship software rather than hardware means we’re not in the crosshairs of these sorts of attacks. But that doesn’t mean we can wash our hands of any responsibility, instead, it’s important to look at how we can help you to prevent these problems from happening.

Let’s use MIA Maternity as an example. MIA Maternity is completely offline-capable, and while that’s important for midwives who use our software in areas of limited or no connectivity, it’s even more important when a large scale cyber attack such as this one occurs.

This is because even though the Trust owned servers that hold the all important patient data might be compromised, the mobile devices remain functional, with a recent copy of all the patient data required to work. Midwives can continue to work without issue, and patient care isn’t compromised. Better yet, there’s no need to revert to older paper-based backups, midwives can continue to enter data into MIA Maternity, and it will be sent back to the server once the issue has been resolved by the Trust.

 

Here at Isosec we take security very seriously. It’s baked into how we make software, and is something on the minds of everyone here constantly.

Google Cloud Next London 2017

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Introducing Google Cloud Next London 2017

Last week I was lucky enough to be able to attend Google Cloud’s annual “Next” event hosted in London’s fantastic ExCel exhibition centre. Peeling myself away from all of the exciting work going on around our newly announced Virtual Smartcard solution was difficult, but for a developer and technology enthusiast such as myself the event made for an exciting opportunity, and I couldn’t wait to see what Google’s Cloud Platform (GCP) had in store for a forward-thinking tech company like Isosec.

Banner for Google Cloud Next London

First and foremost however, a little background. GCP is well known amongst both Google and cloud enthusiasts alike, and has been around for a little over half a decade, with some of its individual components long predating that. It comprises some well-known cloud-based technologies such as BigQuery and App-Engine, some consumer grade facilities like Google Docs and Drive, and far more that even I – a self-confessed Google addict and cloud enthusiast – had never heard of.

Why were they doing this?

But Google have – in my opinion – been having a bit of a problem with their cloud efforts, and it comes in the form of the other well-known cloud platform currently on the market. See despite how well Microsoft’s Azure is currently regarded, and how much they’re incentivizing it financially, there simply isn’t anyone as well known in the industry as Amazon with their infamous AWS. You’ll hear about it all over the web, see it on the news, encounter it daily – even if you don’t realise it – on a tremendous amount of your favourite websites, and even run into it on popular TV shows like Mr Robot and Silicon Valley. It’s everywhere you look when it comes to the cloud, and that’s exactly what Google are trying to change.

GIF of Silicon Valley scene featuring Amazon AWS reference

AWS have frequently features in tech TV shows like HBO’s Silicon Valley

Cue Google Cloud’s Next event, where Google’s enormous marketing budget meets its tremendous technology advancements to provide something truly special. Over the course of two days – three if you took part in any of their paid bootcamps – this free event offered over 50 “breakout sessions” where the experts behind the tech demonstrated their offerings to small-ish groups ranging from tens to hundreds, or in the case of the keynotes, thousands. Of course, when you weren’t in one of the many dedicated rooms, a typically Google experience meant there were VR demonstrations, partners such as Intel, Accenture and plenty of others showcasing their various products, and the kind of free gourmet food and drink on offer that made you forget you weren’t spending the day in the company’s famed Googleplex.

Setting all the fanfare aside however, let’s get down to what’s important…

The technology

Whilst the GCP has been around for several years, its pace of innovation and change meant that almost everything felt brand new, or at least heavily polished. There was a big focus on their various levels of cloud technology, from the simplistically designed Cloud Functions to the more complex Compute and App Engines, and a huge push for their Spanner database technology and the overall architecture of their platform. This was truly an opportunity for Google to say “Here’s what we’ve done, and here’s why it’s better”, and they certainly didn’t disappoint.

Photo of main stage at Google Cloud Next London 2017

“Go big or go home” is definitely a motto at Google

Helping them get the message across were several high profile partners, some of whom featured in some of the various breakout sessions held throughout the event. Lush’s head of technology Ryan Kerry gave a fantastic talk about their migration to GCP and how they achieved it just in time for the Christmas rush, and VFX giants MPC did an incredible demonstration of their use of GCP to aid in the creation of some of Jungle Book’s awards winning animated sequences. Google did also reference Niantic, who had a famously poor launch from a technology perspective, but then I think you’d struggle to pin the blame for that on Google or the GCP.

GIF showing pre and post-animated scenes in the Jungle Book movie

MPC made use of GCP’s offerings when animating Disney’s Jungle Book

APIs are still king

What I found arguably most impressive however was not the flashy products or the big-name partners, but the APIs. Though already well known for its production and maintenance of APIs – when was the last time you used a website that didn’t have a Google Map embedded, or the option to translate its contents to a foreign language using Google Translate – Google are now looking to make the most of machine learning, artificial intelligence and the power of its infrastructure to conquer new areas. Particularly impressive were its demonstrations of its Data Loss Prevention API for understanding and automatically redacting sensitive information, Image Processing API for recognising the objects, facial expressions, locations and much more of both photos and videos, and their natural language API, which made the bane of most feedback forms – open ended questions – a cinch to analyse.

Photo of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas

If you thought this was a photo of Paris’ Eiffel Tower, then I’m afraid Google’s Image Processing API is smarter than you (it’s actually the one in Las Vegas)

Google being Google

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Google event if there weren’t some fun aspects, and whilst there were no slides or multi-coloured bicycles to help you get around, there were still a few elements of Google shining brightly through. The “Quick, Draw!” stand drew crowds of people – who evidently didn’t realise they could play online any time – and the Kubernetes “Whack-a-node” game gave a really fun take on high availability and service rebuild times, something I think most companies would struggle to do. Collaborative white boarding application Jamboard also got plenty of attention, and so too did Google’s Daydream VR headset, which had an unsurprising queue of people for the entirety of the event.

Output of Google's photo recognition API

The facial recognition API isn’t quite there yet, but it’s getting close!

Photo of attendees playing Google's "Quick, Draw!" game

Google’s “Quick, Draw!” stand garnered a lot of interest

All in all it was a fantastic event. Google put on one hell of a show, and struck a near-perfect balance between technical demonstrations and higher level overviews. They even managed to do the entire thing without it seeming like too much of an advertisement – which of course, it was – and that alone is a fairly impressive achievement. For a Google fan such as myself, it was a privilege to be able to attend, and the new technologies and concepts I was exposed to will be featuring in Isosec products very soon.

Introducing: iO Virtual Smartcard

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Isosec’s iO Virtual Smartcard

We’d like to introduce the latest innovation from Isosec – iO Virtual Smartcard, the smart NHS identity agent.

Virtualising your NHS smartcard into the cloud means you can access it using a more convenient form of authentication, like your smartphone. iO Virtual Smartcard works with your NHS issued HR card, an RFID tag or even a biometric like your thumbprint.

With iO Virtual Smartcard you can walk to up to any desktop, scan a QR code with your smartphone, enter the passcode and you’re authenticated to use clinical applications.

Cool, right?

iO Virtual Smartcard by Isosec

Challenges without iO Virtual Smartcard


iO Virtual Smartcard addresses problems the NHS is currently facing with managing smartcards.

Smartcards are issued from your Trust’s Registration Authority (RA). Issuing physical cards takes a long time and requires expensive specialist printers for production.

Junior Doctor Intake
Taking on a new cohort of junior doctors, for example, becomes a logistical and resource-intensive undertaking. RAs travel to different locations to process new starters where they set up the RA system and printer and process each doctor one by one.

Agency Workers
A common approach with Agency Staff is to issue generic smartcards and distribute them across departments. When needed by an agency worker, a manager has to reset the passcode of an existing ‘pool’ card and update a spreadsheet with the agency worker’s details. After the shift is over, that agency worker should hand the card in. The manager then has to repeat the process of deregistering the card and updating the spreadsheet.

This process is inefficient and high risk for your Trust. In clinical system records, for example, details often read “Agency Worker 31291” instead of the specific agency worker’s name. This is usually resolved by reverting back to the spreadsheet for clarification, assuming the process was followed and records are up to date.

This longwinded process for a simple task creates a serious Information Governance issue and wastes valuable staff time that could be better spent elsewhere.

Smartcard User Woes
Smartcards can be a general inconvenience post-registration, especially if you accidentally lock your card. When this happens, you probably have to track down the RA, which may be on a different site or even unavailable in the middle of the night. You sit together whilst the RA unlocks your card. This re-registration is at least 30 minutes of valuable clinical time lost.

Isosec Virtual Smartcard QR Code Desktop

iO Virtual Smartcard


Isosec’s iO Virtual Smartcard leverages the strength of the existing RA process and eliminates the inefficiencies illustrated above. Known as eGIF Level 3, Virtual Smartcard mandates a strong identity check of the person requesting a smartcard.

  1. Once the user’s identity is asserted, the RA issues a virtual smartcard instead of a physical one. The virtual card is created in the Virtual Smartcard Cloud.
  2. The user downloads the Virtual Smartcard Authenticator App on their smartphone straight from the app store.
  3. The RA enrols the user’s smartphone for use with the virtual smartcard using a QR code displayed on their virtual smartcard portal.
  4. The user scans the QR code with the Virtual Smartcard App, enters their passcode on the smartphone and they are enrolled and ready for use… It’s as easy as that!

iO Virtual Smartcard using a smartphone
After the Virtual Smartcard is set up as above, it’s ready for everyday use. The user simply clicks Login on the iO identity agent on any workstation: Scan the QR code with the Virtual Smartcard app, enter passcode and authentication completes. iO will also launch any Spine clinical applications if configured to do so.

Please note that this is still two-factor authentication – something the users knows (the passcode) and something they have (the enrolled smartphone).

A user can still insert a physical smartcard if they wish – iO works with both physical and virtual smartcards.

Using the Virtual Smartcard using an HR card
Alternatively, an HR issued NFC card can be enrolled for use with the user’s Virtual Smartcard. In much the same way that a physical smartcard can be used with NFC, as can the HR card.

Self Service
Virtual Smartcard can be reset using self-service to avoid previously mentioned issues surrounding locked cards. After visiting the Self-Service Portal, a user enters their NHS email address to which a reset link is provided. The linked page asks the user to answer at least two security questions specified during the registration process. This allows the Virtual Smartcard to be unlocked and the passcode reset.

Each reset saves approximately 30 minutes and can be done whenever, wherever.

Security
As the Virtual Smartcard is held in the cloud, there is nothing to physically lose, share or leave in a reader. The Virtual Smartcard technology is improving a previously complex process, so compliance and risk are greatly improved. Users no longer have to battle the technology to do their jobs, they work productively together.

Analytics
The Virtual Smartcard Cloud service is built into the Isosec cloud-based analytics platform. With Virtual Smartcard it is easy to track when, where and how each Virtual Smartcard is used. This enables Trusts to learn from best practice and identify where any issues may arise. It also provides a rich set of data on how Spine applications are used; data which has not been readily available before. Isosec Analytics also enable Information Governance audits at the touch of a button.

Benefits

  • Enables the use of devices that don’t have a Smartcard reader e.g. an iPad using a virtual desktop client, or users working from home
  • Simple to adopt, solving the Information Governance issues with agency staff, bank smartcards and lack of traceability
  • No generic cards in the wild
  • Audits and analytics available at the touch of a button
  • Enables rapid access to systems for new starters or temporary/agency staff once they have a virtual card – managers can authorise their access via a management console
  • Provides a much improved user experience by enabling self-service reset of passcodes, thereby avoiding periods where cards are locked and can’t be reset due to unavailability of RAs

Future Use
Future plans for iO Virtual Smartcard include using other authentication methods. We are always looking to improve the iO Identity Agent and RFID tags and biometrics (e.g. fingerprint and iris) will be added. Authentication methods will be policy driven by individual Trust preference.

Using Virtual Smartcard for other purposes is also under consideration, like the possibility of Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for remote access over the public internet. Virtual Smartcard streamlines the authentication process by using a single two factor authentication from any device for internet access, Windows AD logon and Spine authentication for access to clinical apps.

Release Date
A number of pilots began in April 2017. A full case study with benefits realisation and business case process will be available soon. To register your interest and request a demo please visit our website or email info@isosec.co.uk and quote this blog. Virtual Smartcard will be readily available to all existing and new iO customers from June 2017. Please visit www.isosec.co.uk to download the iO brochure for information on our other Identity Agent software. You can keep up to date with the release by following us on Twitter @isosec.

Isosec Announce Charity of the Year 2017

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MIA Mental Health

2017 will see the launch of a new Isosec app, MIA Mental Health. MIA Mental Health is clinical mobile app to improve efficiency and patient care for mental health pathways. A rapid observations app is used to make observations on a tablet device, rather than on paper. Previously, notes had to be rekeyed into the Trust’s EPR, a duplication of tasks for the clinician and wasting valuable time. MIA Mental Health will sync notes automatically, use colour coded notifications to show which patients need attention and will be geotagged and digitally signed for better compliance and information governance purposes. We have seen such amazing benefits and savings in time and money with MIA Maternity and hope that our work with Mental Health professionals will benefit this area of the NHS in the same way.

To celebrate the launch of MIA Mental Health and show how excited we are to start helping the people who help mental health patients, we are partnering with local charity Manchester Mind as our Charity of the Year 2017.

Manchester Mind Logo Mental Health Charity

About Manchester Mind

Manchester Mind (registered charity number 1102058) was established in 1989. They are an independent charity providing support for 4,000+ people experiencing emotional or mental distress across the city. They are an affiliate member of (national) Mind and adhere to its quality standards, but are not a local branch of Mind, and receive no core funding from Mind.

In Britain in any one year, 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health issue. Poor mental health can affect anyone – rich or poor, young or old, at work, within your family or circle of friends. It can shatter the lives of the people affected and the lives of those close to them.

Manchester Mind‘s aims are…

  • Address the effects of poverty, insecurity and poor physical health on mental health
  • Help people to manage their lives and to make positive choices with skill and confidence
  • Promote and create opportunities for people to contribute to their communities
  • Provide information and advice to people to meet their needs and raise awareness about mental health within our city

Their services tackle the root of poor mental health e.g. isolation, poverty, poor housing, lack of access to services, stigma and discrimination, lack of confidence and skills, or aim to help people to improve their quality of life if living with a long-term mental illness. Manchester Mind recognises people’s strengths and involve people in the services delivered to ensure they remain relevant and helpful.

What We Hope To Achieve

In 2016 Isosec raised £1000 for last year’s charity, Bliss. Through our work with Bliss we improved care for mum’s with premature babies. Together we introduced a checkbox into MIA Maternity so Midwives visiting were reminded of the family’s specific needs. This year we hope to do the same for better mental health care. Please follow us on Twitter @isosec to keep up to date with our fundraising adventures and find out more about Manchester Mind.

Isosec shortlisted for two awards already in 2017!

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We’ve really started of 2017 with a bang here at Isosec, with lots of plans to continue the momentum throughout the year.

We are very proud to announce that we are shortlisted in the 2017 British Journal of Midwifery Awards for Innovation in Practice with Shereen Nimmo, Lead Midwife from Imperial College Healthcare NHS and her community team. Shereen’s team was the pilot site for our clinical mobile app MIA Maternity, and they have completely transformed their community service delivery for women in London with better digital provisions; saving costs from previous inefficiencies, resulting in better care and outcomes for women, as well as increasing their home birth rate and breastfeeding mums.

BJM Awards 2017 Finalist

Isosec and Imperial have also been shortlisted for the HSJ Value in Healthcare 2017 Awards for the second year in a row in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology category, also for mobile app MIA Maternity. We are thrilled to be involved in the HSJ Awards again, and pleased that the panels for both awards can see the real value of digital transformation and recognise the savings and better patient care it can deliver.

HSJ Awards 2017 Finalist

Be sure to follow us on Twitter or here on the blog to find out whether we scoop an award! We have some new products launching in the immediate future, so it’s a very exciting time here at Isosec indeed! To find out more about MIA Maternity you can watch our short animated video or the full case study video at Imperial College Healthcare NHS.

Isosec conquer 90,000 challenge for Bliss baby charity

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Isosec took on the ‘90,000 Challenge’ on October 8th to raise money and awareness for baby charity Bliss, who care for babies born too sick or too soon.

2016-10-08-09-03-12Bliss sponsorship banner

Every year, 90,000 babies are admitted to hospital for specialist care – many of these babies will need lifesaving intensive care. Baby charity Bliss is there for these little ones by empowering their families and working with health professionals to ensure they have the best care possible. Bliss also supports over £10 million of research to make a lasting difference to the lives of premature and sick babies, and fights for their rights within the government and NHS.

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Isosec committed to walk a foot for every single one of the babies born premature in one year. That’s over 17 miles! We actually smashed our target and trekked a total of 22.5 miles! 

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Isosec will also be holding a 90,000 step week challenge in Manchester in November for World Prematurity Day. Check back here or email info@isosec.co.uk for more information on how to take part. If you manage to hit the 90,000 target you could even be eligible for free cake!

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So far we’ve raised over £600! You can still donate to our page for a few more weeks so please give as much or as little as you can for this worthy cause and help us to take a step for babies in need.

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You can sponsor us here and donations will be quickly processed and passed to Bliss. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity’s behalf where the donor is eligible for this.

 

Exclusive Free Trial of MIA Maternity for RCM Conference 2016

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The Royal College of Midwives Annual Conference is one of the biggest dates in our diary. Last year we met so many amazing people, all striving to improve care in Maternity departments in the NHS. This year we’re rewarding those people with an exclusive free trial of MIA Maternity.

Isosec strive to improve the working lives of Midwives with MIA Maternity, the mobile app that replaces inefficient paper processes. MIA reduces admin, travelling and as well as using that time to improve patient care, it also ensures MIA Midwives get home on time! We’ve decided to make your RCM Conference 2016 even more special… We are (very!) excited to officially announce that we are offering an exclusive free trial of MIA Maternity to attendees of the RCM Annual Conference 2016!

This includes the tablet devices, the process redesign to get MIA configured exactly to your working practices and a short pilot period*.

rcm-oct-newsletter-ad

Do you think this sounds like a good idea, but aren’t sure how it could work in your Trust? Or perhaps you need solid evidence of the benefits to having mobile midwives?

Imperial College Healthcare NHS will be showcasing their digital transformation journey with MIA at 12.10 on Day 1. Come along to discuss the benefits of a more efficient workforce through the use of mobile technology.

Midwives from Imperial College Healthcare NHS and our Co-Founders will be on Stand 17 both days to answer any questions you might have.

We are proud sponsors of the RCM Conference App this year so be sure to download it to plan your conference and read more about Isosec.

RCM exhibitor 2016 MIA maternity

Why not follow us on twitter @isosec to keep up with us before the event starts? We’ll be live tweeting from the event using #RCMConf16 and also posting some great tips and tricks from our MIA Midwives on #MIAMidwives.

If you would like any more information or to arrange a meeting at the RCM Conference or otherwise, please email info@isosec.co.uk or use the contact form on our website.

We’re really looking forward to meeting everyone, see you there! 

RCM conference 2016 MIA free trial

*Isosec terms and condition apply.

Streamlining Windows and clinical application logon with the NHS Smartcard

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As part of our product roadmap, we are about to release our next iO product – iO Logon. I always get a little excited when we release something new and innovative, especially as it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time – make the NHS Smartcard able to log on to Windows and the Spine seamlessly.

First some history.

Back in the NPfIT days, we used to joke that Spine SSO (Single Sign On) was the only single sign-on system where a user had to log on twice – once for Windows with username and password (AKA AD Credentials) and then with a smartcard to access Spine clinical applications. This has been the norm for a long time resulting in delays for users wanting to get or update patient information or order tests.

We introduced Spine Session Persistence back in 2012 – the ability to keep clinical applications running even when disconnected from a virtual desktop, saving at least 30 seconds every time a user re-connected back to their virtual desktop. This helped in a big way to improve the experience for clinical users through integrating the technology better.

So, the current user experience goes something like – turn up to work, log in to Windows with username and password. Wait. Virtual desktop appears a few seconds later. Insert smartcard. Enter passcode. Select role. Clinical app starts. Wait. Wait some more. Still waiting. Clinical application now available. After some time using the clinical application, the user disconnects from the virtual desktop to return some time later. Log on to Windows again. Wait. Insert smartcard. Continue using clinical application.

Our vision is about enabling clinicians to do what they do best – treat patients using efficient supporting IT systems. Not the other way round of battling with IT systems to then deliver patient care.

iO Logon delivers just that – a fast and streamlined access to clinical applications.

The new process goes like this:

1. User walks up to a workstation and presents their NHS smartcard – either inserting it or placing it on a contactless reader

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2. User is prompted for their NHS smartcard passcode – not their Windows username and password!

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You’ll notice that there is a remember passcode tickbox meaning that user doesn’t need to enter it again until some policy defined period or event – simply presenting the card next time will allow them straight in.

And that’s it – the user is signed in to Windows and their Spine applications launch. Then, simply remove the smartcard and the user is returned to Step 1. Removing the smartcard disconnects them. Re-presenting the smartcard then simply gets them back to their applications where they left of – a matter of approximately 1 second.

From an administration point of view we’ve designed this to be as simple as possible. Registration for the iO Logon service is done by the user by simply enrolling their card when they present it for the first time:

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Obviously, there is still a management interface for setting up the various policies and de-registering cards, but that’s it.

One of the really great aspects of this new iO Logon product is around the analytics. As Edward Demming famously observed, “without data, you’re just somebody else with an opinion”. Which in the case of user log on time is very true. Just how long does it take to log on and get access to a clinical application? Isosec has his its own cloud based analytics platform that collects this information to give an unequivocal view. This view breaks down in detail to the individual aspects of the authentication process and how long it takes before the clinical app is ready. It also can show a macro view of all authentications for a particular user as well as across groups of users. This then allows bottlenecks to be identified and improvements made. I’ll discuss more about the analytics another time as we release more of our analytics roadmap functionality.

On a final note, iO Logon is part of an exciting and ambitious roadmap for iO. We are busy working through R&D for our next iO solution aimed at agency staff. More on that soon.