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New mobile app for healthcare professionals

New mobile app for healthcare professionals to offer safe and secure information sharing to improve patient care

AUCKLAND, 1 November 2016

A secure mobile application, purpose built to allow clinicians to safely share confidential patient information on the go, will soon be made more widely available.

The app, called Celo, is currently being piloted in the Canterbury Health System in what is hoped will be just the first step for this innovative, Kiwi-made app that has the potential to be used nationwide and beyond.

Celo is available on both Android and iOS and allows users to chat, consent and capture clinical images from their smartphones.

Co-founder and CEO of Celo, Stephen Vlok, says until now there has been no secure way for healthcare professionals to use their personal mobiles or tablets to email, text or send confidential patient information to each other on the go.

“Clinicians using mobile technology to share patient information seems an obvious step to take in delivering safer, better-informed healthcare,” says Vlok.

“Besides the more obvious security risks in using personal devices for work, clinical images taken on a smartphone camera would need to be added to the patient’s clinical record, and there was no easy or secure way to do that.”

Using world-class security standards usually only seen in banking software, Celo is designed to protect patient information from beginning to end. No patient information is ever stored on an individual device and integration with Electronic Health Records allows information captured on Celo to be transferred securely to the clinical record.

Canterbury’s Executive Lead – Health Innovation, Stella Ward was keen to prioritise the development of a secure mobile app for health use, for a number of reasons.

“Being able to send and receive information securely between mobile devices is part of our Canterbury Health System strategy to promote safe, high-quality care by making the best possible information available at the point of care,” says Ward.

“Beyond that though, was the need to manage the risk of technology moving so fast that it became all too easy to do the right thing for the right reasons, but in the wrong way.”

“Sharing information is the easy part;
keeping it secure and accessible, but
not held on individual devices, was
the bigger challenge. Celo ticks all of
those boxes.”

Canterbury’s eClincial Health Lead and Consultant General Surgeon – Saxon Connor adds that Celo tackles the security issue of using personal mobile devices to communicate patient information.

“By using Celo’s secure system, not only is patient safety improved but it also allows a more efficient means of communication including capturing clinical imaging and patient consent,” says Connor.

“Celo’s ability to innovate and
promptly respond to clinician
feedback has been impressive. As
an end user, I am excited about the
potential Celo offers.”

Canterbury and West Coast Consultant Paediatrician and Telehealth Clinical Leader John Garrett says Celo gives access to a secure way of messaging that is both timely and accurate.

“The smartphones we all carry can now be used to capture an image, identify who it is of, obtain that person’s consent, then share the image and message with a colleague as part of providing high-quality care. This all happens securely and will become an integral part of how we work.”

Community Nursing provider Nurse Maude have also partnered with Celo. Sheree East, Director of Nursing, Nurse Maude commented “Our community teams are providing care to thousands of people every week. Many have had acute events, exacerbations of complex chronic conditions or are receiving end of life care. Once discharged from hospital and back in the comfort of their own homes, our district nursing and specialist nursing teams continue to provide, in consultation with the patient’s GP or hospital team, seamless and personalised care. Often an acute admission could be avoided through timely communication and appropriate clinical input. We are excited to be partnering with Celo to further enhance patient safety and integrated care through the use of the application in the community.”

A key element underpinning the scalability and security of the Celo app is it’s planned hosting on the Microsoft Azure platform, which recently received acceptance from the Ministry of Health for use by New Zealand health organisations.

Currently the app is hosted on infrastructure located in New Zealand.

“By taking advantage of Microsoft Azure, Celo can focus on innovation instead of infrastructure.

With it’s acceptance by the Ministry of Health, the Microsoft Azure platform will deliver the security and scalability to enable the next wave of health applications,” says Vlok.

“By using the Microsoft Azure framework, we are able to setup a completely automated release pipeline and production environment that scales up as new DHBs and healthcare organisations come online. With the Azure Resource Manager templates, Celo’s cloud infrastructure can be deployed to new environments and regions with minimal effort.”

Gabe Rijpma, Senior Director of Health and Social Services Asia at Microsoft, says that the new Celo app is at the forefront of a new wave of healthcare innovations that are being enabled by the value and ability to deliver trusted applications in the Azure Cloud.

“The Ministry of Health’s decision to accept the use of Microsoft’s public cloud for storage of personal health records is already helping transform the eHealth agenda in New Zealand, and Celo is a leading example of that transformation.”

To find out more about Celo or to secure your organisation’s mobile communication, visit

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