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Stoke Is The First to Bring in Cutting Edge Technology

[ 8 May 2009 ]

NHS Stoke on Trent is the first in the UK to bring in cutting edge technology which will benefit people across the city.


The Primary Care Trust (PCT) has embraced the new Microsoft Tag technology which will make it far easier for colleagues and eventually patients' to access information using their mobile phones.


Tags are similar to barcodes, which are read by your phone's camera.  The image means the phone can:


  • Store information relating to the Tag - so Tags can be included on your business card and all the contact information is passed to your phone in seconds saving you valuable time inputting details manually.
  • Open a web site on your phone - if we print a Tag on a poster publicising an event - the user photographs the Tag and the phone opens a web browser and loads a web based form which allows them to join one of our schemes.
  • Dials a number - Imagine an appointment confirmation letter to a patient that they can point their phone at and it automatically dials NHS Direct etc.


The Health Intelligence team at the PCT have already added Tags to their email signatures so that other colleagues can quickly capture their full details. They are also being put onto business cards to allow people to quickly capture contact information for key staff within the organisation.


We're also looking at our website ( to increase functionality and allow patients to search for dentists, GP practices and pharmacies using Microsoft Virtual earth.  Patients enter their post code and retrieve a list of nearby primary care organisations. The results can then be filtered to find exactly which service they're looking for. They will then be able to simply click an icon on the screen and information relating to the practice is shown, including a picture of the premises, contact numbers, including emergency numbers, number of disabled parking spaces and opening times etc.  The contact information is all contained within a Tag which the patient can then use to store important information on their phone. 


Head of Health Intelligence John Uttley said: "We're very excited about introducing this technology in Stoke-on-Trent. It will make it far easier for the public to access and store important information about our services.


He added: "For example - say a new patient to the area wants to choose a dentist and GP for their family.  Using our website they will be able to quickly filter practices which meet their requirements and then use their phone to capture the contact and opening times information within seconds.  The Tag removes the effort of having to key in the information which can be quite time consuming - instead the patients opens the Tag application on their phone, points it at the image and the phone will then do the rest." 




Notes to editors:


This application is free, both for the software needed for your phone and for the organisations use of the technology - however, the phone network may charge for internet usage on your mobile phone. 


To visit our website please go to:


For more information please contact: Communications Manager Tamsin Carr on 01782 401048

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