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Use of no-code platforms in the development of clinician-designed mobile apps to support clinical work in the emergency department
  1. Zhenghong Liu1,
  2. Rachael Pik Yi Lo1,
  3. Jonathan Ming Hua Cheng2,
  4. Paul Weng Wan1,
  5. Kenneth Boon Kiat Tan1
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore
  2. 2Department of Surgical Intensive Care, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to Dr Zhenghong Liu, Department of Emergency Medicine, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore; liuzhenghong{at}hotmail.com

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Summary box

What are the new findings?

  • Our experience shows that no-code platforms have matured and lowered barriers to entry for app development.

  • Developing a simple app on such platforms is possible with minimal time, resources and technical expertise.

How might it impact on healthcare in the future?

  • More clinicians and departments are now empowered to take control of their own app development needs to develop personalised apps.

Background and operational aims

Clinicians are required to have a deep grasp of medical knowledge, keep up with the latest literature and stay updated on evolving hospital guidelines. Emergency department (ED) clinicians in particular deal with a large breadth of information, referring to guidelines from multiple professional bodies from different specialties. This need to stay current is especially crucial during this COVID-19 pandemic, where more than 20 000 articles were published over a 6-month period during the pandemic.1 This naturally translated into new hospital workflows and guidelines that evolved quickly as evidence grew.2

To deal with large volumes of information, several solutions have been commonly in use. These include mobile friendly websites such as UpToDate (https://www.uptodate.com) and MedCalc (https://www.mdcalc.com) for general clinical care. For emergency medicine clinicians, websites such as CorePendium (https://www.emrap.org/corependium/) and mobile apps such as Bedside EM (https://www.expeditiondocs.com/bedsideem) offer specialty-specific information. To disseminate latest guideline changes and workflows quickly, some institutions have opted to use text messaging,3 while others have relied on daily email bulletins4 or institutional intranets.

While these solutions have enhanced clinical work, they have some limitations. First, they do not allow for personalisation. Second, choosing to send out information by text or email rapidly results in a disorganised accumulation of information, possibly leading to clinicians referring to the incorrect document. Lastly, the user interface of institutional intranets often caters to only desktop computers and updating these institutional folders may be non-intuitive or require the assistance of administrative support.

In prior years, there have …

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Footnotes

  • Contributors ZL and RPYL conceived the manuscript and obtained the necessary materials. ZL managed the data, including quality control. ZL and RPYL drafted the manuscript, and all authors contributed substantially to its revision. ZL takes responsibility for the paper as a whole.

  • 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.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.