Preparing for eDC and eDC Gold Android Handheld Devices
Over the past two years, we have been working with our NHS Supply Chain: Supporting Technologies Provider (DxC) to replace the current eDC handheld devices with Android devices.
The new technology offers increased speed and ease of use alongside the opportunity for future development and support capabilities.
The pilot trusts are impressed with the ‘good scanning response time’, ‘improved design and quality of the unit’, and ‘like the ease of connecting and disconnecting to the docking station’.
Customer testing has begun, and we anticipate it to end by 31 March 2021. Currently, we are focussing on the compatibility of the new Android technology with the Zebra technologies TC52 model. A TC52 specification sheet is available in our Downloads section.
Following this, we can start to roll out eDC Android devices across our network.
All eDC and eDC Gold customers will receive an Android device and the current PDAs will be decommissioned.
Are you moving to Windows 10?
If your trust is moving to Windows 10 the current eDC mobile devices do not connect to the system.
We have an interim solution in place to use until you recieve your Android device. The new devices will connect with Windows 10.
See our Downloads section to read the current solution.
We advise completing eDC Gold bulk data uploads outside of core business hours. These uploads can affect the system performance for all users.
What can you do now?
Check that your network can connect to the Android devices:
- Contact your local IT departments to make sure that the following URLs are active on both your local and Wi-Fi networks:
- NHS Supply Chain will be managing all software updates to the new Android devices remotely and we have identified a connection issue that may prevent this. To resolve the issue, please ask your local IT departments to open the following on both the local and Wi-Fi networks:
- URL: s107126.mobicontrolcloud.com
- IP Address: 18.104.22.168
- Ports: 5494, 443
- The eDC Android device will require direct access to the NHS Supply Chain system via your Wi-Fi network. They cannot be tethered as per the current PDA.
In circumstances where Wi-Fi is not an option, the charging cradle will have an Ethernet port that could be connected directly into a spare wall-port. This is not the recommended approach and would require a spare port where the cradles will be stationed.
What to expect from your eDC Android device?
It will come configured with all applications, including SOTI Mobile Device Manager and any software updates. All hardware issues will be managed by and are directly the responsibility of NHS Supply Chain.
Your end users will only require local IT support in instances where the Wi-Fi connection is not established.
Please be assured the devices will be restricted for use with the eDC application only and there will be no web browser access.
Transitioning to Android
We understand there will be a significant change to how the current eDC handheld devices connect and that network structures and security policies may differ across the NHS. We will work closely with our customers and local IT departments to support the transition to Android devices.
The upgraded eDC Android devices, implementation, and ongoing support are free for the NHS.
Android Devices FAQs
Why are NHS Supply Chain replacing the current eDC and Gold Windows Mobile PDAs?
When will NHS Supply Chain be replacing the current Windows Mobile devices?
There will be a 12 month replacement programme expected to start in the new year. Customers will be contacted individually to agree specific dates and times.
What is the make and model of the replacement device, and what version of Android will this come with?
We will be supplying Zebra TC52s which will come with Android version 8 (Oreo). See our Downloads ▼ section to read the product specification.
Will we be given the same number of Android devices as we have Windows Mobile devices?
Yes, this will be like for like replacement. The Windows devices will be taken out of service once the Android devices are installed.
Will we be able to purchase the new TC52 Android devices ourselves?
This is currently under review and further information will be communicated as soon as possible.
Android devices are connected wirelessly what information do we need to supply to our local IT department for cyber security risks?
We strongly recommend WIFI as best practice. There will be ethernet port connectivity provided on the docking stations for direct IP connectivity. It is important to note that the Android devices will not have tethering to PC capability (like the current Windows devices do).
We have previously communicated the new URLs to be added to your Local and WIFI networks and without these being active the Android device will not work.
See our Downloads ▼ section for useful information and specifications of interest to your local IT Departments. We advise approaching your local IT Departments to share this information as they will be an integral part of setting up the new devices on customer networks
What is the operating lifespan of Android devices?
Zebra’s software security solution is ‘Lifeguard for Android’ which extends the operating system lifecycle beyond 3 years.
How will NHS Supply Chain update the Android versions?
The devices will arrive preconfigured with mobile device management software (MDM). This will facilitate the updates as they become available and in accordance with your local IT policies.
How will NHS Supply Chain update the eDC and eDC Gold software?
The Android devices will arrive preconfigured with the latest eDC and eDC Gold software. Application updates will be delivered through the MDM client.
Will there be changes to how NHS Supply Chain supports the new devices?
No, customers will report any issues as normal to the existing NHS Supply Chain Client Services Helpdesk. The Client Services Helpdesk will have increased functionality to support customers more effectively.