UK care home iPad deal is an experiment in digital transformation
The weird UK government may not have enough money in its pocket to give nurses (and teachers) the pay rise they deserve, but did have the cash to flash on something a little useful when it spent £6 million (c.$8.3m) on 11,000 iPads for UK care homes as reported here.
11,000 iPads for the UK
The idea is solid.
We have all read stories of loving and caring nurses holding iPads so that people suffering terminal cases of COVID-19 can share a few moments with their loved ones.
We’ve also learned how these devices can help prevent doctors wafting infection between already vulnerable people on the wards, and, of course, how access to tech of this kind can help people who are sick engage with some form of life while they recover. On that basis I’d argue this is a few million well spent. Unlike the billions on a UK track and trace system which failed the nation.
What’s the deal?
The DHSS (a UK government department) agreed a deal with Jigsaw 24 under which the latter will provide 11,000 iPads along with a slew of related technologies to the organization for use in care homes.
It’s like an A-Z of the needs of digital transformation
The agreement covers all the bases of the challenges of digital transformation at this time, for example:
We know that shared mobile devices lend their own problems around software installation, privacy, security and more. To address this, the NHSX/DHSS deal sees Jamf Pro deployed to manage all these devices use of Apple Business Manager to handle the deployment. You need to both manage and protect your endpoints and do so on a remote basis, which Jamf Pro is good at.
We also know that not every location can easily get online, and even when they can coverage can be patchy. Most nations have areas that still can’t get a decent wired connection, and there are still areas that share alternative WAN solutions.
With this in mind the devices must offer both 4G and Wi-Fi support, and have SIM cards installed, with access to pooled bandwidth at a predictable price. (When the deal was proposed it asked potential suppliers to suggest how they would resolve bandwidth access problems in areas that don’t have good access).
Ease of access and app control
The other challenge of remote is the need to make it easy to access. That’s also in this deal, which sees the supplier asked to remove all pre-installed apps so the systems are ready – and easy to use – out of the box. This kind of zero-configuration and app control set-up is most certainly part of what remote businesses have found necessary during the pandemic.
App control is also part of this picture. The deal sees deployment of a simplified home screen with a limited number of apps, including Teams, NHSmail, Apple Care, the NHSX web page, support phone numbers and a limited version of the App Store through which only approved software can be installed.
A little more protection
Finally, the deal demands a decent protective case and service desk support.
The catch? 11,000 iPads sounds like a lot, but there are about 11,000 care homes in the UK, which means just one (or in some cases, two) of these things will be available in each place.
That’s the story.