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Mobile device and app use in paediatric emergency care: a survey of departmental practice in the UK and Ireland
  1. Haiko Kurt Jahn1,2,
  2. Ingo H Jahn3,
  3. Damian Roland4,5,
  4. Mark D Lyttle6,7,
  5. Wilhelm Behringer8
  6. on behalf of PERUKI
  1. 1 Children’s Emergency Department, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast, UK
  2. 2 Faculty of Medicine, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat Jena, Jena, Germany
  3. 3 School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  4. 4 Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  5. 5 Paediatric Emergency Medicine Leicester Academic (PEMLA) Group, Leicester Hospitals, Leicester, UK
  6. 6 Emergency Department, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, UK
  7. 7 Academic Department of Emergency Care, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
  8. 8 Center of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat Jena, Jena, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Haiko Kurt Jahn, Children’s Emergency Department, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast BT12 6BE, UK; haiko.jahn{at}


Introduction Mobile devices and medical apps are used by healthcare professionals in adult and paediatric emergency departments worldwide. Recently, there has been a drive toward increased digitalisation especially in the UK. This point prevalence survey aims to describe hardware and software provision and their use in paediatric emergency care in the UK and Ireland.

Methods A web-based self-report questionnaire of member sites of an international paediatric emergency research collaborative was performed. A lead site investigator completed the survey on behalf of each site.

Results Of the 54 sites, 46 (85%) responded. At 10 (21.7%) sites, the use of a personal mobile device at the bedside was not allowed; however, this was only enforced at 4 (8.7%) of these sites. Apple iOS devices accounted for the majority (70%) of institutional mobile devices. Most sites provided between 1 and 5 medical apps on the institutional mobile device. The British National Formulary (BNF/BNFc) app was the app which was most frequently provided and recommended. No site reported any harm from medical app use.

Conclusion The breadth of app use was relatively low. There was variability in trust guidance on app use and challenges in accessibility of Wi-Fi and devices.

  • general paediatrics
  • mobile apps
  • mobile devices

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  • Contributors HKJ (consultant PEM, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Falls Road, Belfast) involved in idea, design, analysis and distribution. IJ (lecturer Mechanical Engineering, University of Queensland, Brisbane) involved in statistics and review. DR (consultant PEM, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester) involved in design and literature review. MDL (consultant PEM, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol, UK; Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK) involved in design, distribution and review. WB (W Prof EM, University of Jena, Germany) involved in design, review and distribution of survey.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Data are part of a two-stage survey process that was undertaken by the PERUKI research collaborative investigating the use of mobile device technology in emergency care in English and German-speaking countries in Europe as part of an MD research of the corresponding author at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. Should readers wish further details on any results, these can be obtained by contacting the corresponding author.

  • Collaborators PERUKI: Roger Alcock, Forth Valley Royal Hospital; Mark Anderson, Great North Children’s Hospital, Newcastle; Andrew Appelboam, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital; Michael Barrett, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital; Roisin Begley, North Middlesex Hospital; Terri Bentley, Royal United Hospital; Turlough Bolger, Tallaght Children’s Hospital; Nanette Bothma, Derriford Hospital; Fiona Bowles, Queen Alexandra Hospital; Adrian Boyle, Cambridge; Adam Brown, Frenchay Hospital; Craig Brown, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary; Jen Browning, Royal Hospital for Sick Children—Edinburgh; Derek Burke, Sheffield Children’s Hospital; Nabila Burney, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital; Fleur Cantle, King’s College Hospital; Kirsty Challen, Royal Preston Hospital; John Criddle, Evelina Children’s Hospital; Sharryn Gardner, Ormskirk; Eleanor Glenday, St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester; Sylvester Gomes, St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester; Chris Gough, Nottingham Children’s Hospital; Saqib Hasan, Royal Hospital for Sick Children—Glasgow; Lisa Kehler, Royal Wolverhampton; Mike Linney, St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester; Dan Magnus, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children; Julie-Ann Maney, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children; Christopher McKie, Sunderland Royal Hospital; Shrouk Messahel, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital; Ruud Nijman, St Mary’s Hospital; Maggie Nyirenda, Lewisham Hospital; Ronan O’Sullivan, Cork University Hospital; Ami Parikh, Barts & The London; Katherine Potier, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital; Colin Powell, Children’s Hospital for Wales; Marimuthu Rajeshkumar, Darlington Memorial Hospital; Darren Ranasinghe, University Hospital Southampton; Gisela Robinson, Royal Derby Hospital; Alex Scott, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough; Augustine Smithies, Hull Royal Infirmary; Clare Thompson, Leeds General Infirmary; Emily Walton, Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital; Shye-Wei Wong, Royal Free Hospital.

  • Correction notice The paper has been amended since it was published Online First. PERUKI has been added to the author list.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.