Emergency Contact Project

The Humetrix SOS QR platform and app was first launched in 2014 but has been modified for the test bed programme and renamed SOS UK and made available on the iTunes and Google Play app stores for download by patients and carers at no charge during a six-month period beginning in June 2017.



The SOS UK app is designed to provide carers and patients with an easy way to keep an up-to-date medical record on their smartphone to improve care coordination in transitions of care between GP practices, urgent care centers, A&Es and inpatient units. The user can display health information locally on their smartphone during any medical encounter or, if they are unable to do so, healthcare professionals and first responders can scan a QR code generated by the app to view a record which has had personal identifiers removed (unless the user opts to leave these in).

It makes conditions, allergies and medications available to any emergency responder in any one of these local languages. It also features an “SOS Button” that users can easily press to alert emergency contacts with their GPS location in an emergency situation and an “OK Button” that they can press to let loved ones and emergency contacts know they are safe in a disaster scenario.

This project will focus on the population of Sheffield initially with potential to spread across wider South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw STP area for implementation of technology, and will include three classes of participants:

  • People registered as participants in one of the other Test Bed Programmes in the STP region (e.g. asthma project, falls prevention project etc.)
  • Individuals registered with the Sheffield Carers Centre
  • Self-selected individuals with long-term conditions in the Sheffield region responding to a public outreach campaign implemented by the Test Bed who join the project by downloading the SOS UK app.

For more information about the app please go to http://www.humetrix.com/sosuk/about_app_en.html

Why are we doing this?

Official figures reveal that over 95 per cent of GP practices are now set up to offer online access to detailed GP records (NHS England, 2016c) but uptake to date has been slow. A recent survey found just 0.6 per cent of respondents had accessed their medical record online in the previous six months (Ipsos MORI, 2016). The SOS UK app is a way for people to input their own key pieces of health information into a record they can keep with them at all times

Records owned by the patient rather than a healthcare organisation – are becoming increasingly common and have the potential to transform the patient experience. They mean that patients can share their health data with all health providers delivering their care, facilitating seamless care provision across community, primary, secondary and tertiary care. Patients are also able to add in their own data from wearables and apps as well as record their symptoms.

Who’s involved in this project?

Lead Evaluation Partner: University of Sheffield (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/scharr)

Lead for public engagement: Healthwatch Sheffield (http://www.healthwatchsheffield.co.uk/)

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (http://www.sth.nhs.uk/)

Lead Innovator Partner: Humetrix (http://www.humetrix.com/)

Sheffield Carers Centre (http://sheffieldcarers.org.uk/)

What happens next?

Recruitment of patients into the programme will continue until the end of December 2017.  A final evaluation report will be available from the end of March 2018





NHS England (2016c) ‘Over 55 million patients in England set to benefit from accessing their

GP record online’, news, 4 July. https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/07/gp-records-online/

Accessed 25 October 2016.

Ipsos MORI (2016) GP Patient Survey – national summary report. Ipsos MORI. https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/2016/07/07/gp-patient-survey-2015-16/