On Saturday the 28th of May I spend the day at the Digital Exchange in Bradford, part of the Digital Health Enterprise Zone. I was here to attend one of the sessions of the Code4Health pharmacy community – (@code4health) who were providing an opportunity to learn to code an app. There had been events previously in London, but this was the first in the “shire”.

 

The session was the “brainchild” of @EPSPharmacist – Mohammed Hussain and was led by Dr Angela Yu (@Yu_Angela) and Philip Muellauer from The London App Brewery (@LondonAppBrewer).

It was a well attended event – around 21 people (apparently just the right group size for this sort of event) from different backgrounds and stages in their pharmacy (or not) career.

The “energy levels” from the morning session were fantastic – with teams being tasked to brainstorm the solutions to patient compliance in the year 2026.
There were some amazing solutions to the problem, and the feedback from the various teams was enthusiastic and very entertaining.

After lunch, we got down to the actual coding of an App!

The guys from The London App Brewery provided a step by step guide to using the MIT App Inventor which provided a drag and drop interface to the initial design of the app layout, and then to build the code behind that interface. So with the simplest of learning curves, we started to code a BMI calculator app.

It was great that we were encouraged to start experimenting with the code, to make it unique and to use all the tools available to us in the MIT software.  Hats off to “Ritesh Pandya” (@Kung_fu_pandya) who seemed to be a natural at coding, but who also sparked off my imagination in developing the simple BMI app to actually say phrases.
Phillip had mentioned there was a “text to speech” component in the kit and that was just the incentive to bring out the “child like joy of coding” in me.

It was a really enjoyable day, and a great introduction to coding, but the best aspect was the collaboration and networking with other like minded individuals – those who see that…

Digital is, and will be evermore so, an important aspect of Healthcare.

Pharmacy always has been an early adopter of technology, and I don’t see why we shouldn’t continue to engage and be entrepreneurial  in this exciting development of health.

See Darren’s simple BMI app (with speech) in action.