You might soon be able to access your medical records through your smartphone, if a new initiative planned by the National Health Service (NHS) gets the go-ahead.
This proposal comes after the NHS said that it wanted to integrate a number of new technological initiatives which will see it hopefully become paperless within the next four years, by giving patients access to their own health records which are held by hospitals, community, mental health and social care services.
It is perhaps little surprise that the NHS has jumped on the smartphone bandwagon given that every time a new smartphone is released it comes with new health apps, such as Apple’s HealthKit in its iOS 8 with the new iPhone handsets.
The NHS plans to validate certain health apps by providing the user with their own medical records. However, there are obviously going to be safety and privacy concerns that come to play with allowing such personal records to be shared via technological means.
With this in mind, the NHS has said that it is being very careful when considering the safety of the individual apps it wants to use, but by going through an extensive authentication process it will allow doctors to recommend specific apps to their patients.
One part of these plans which has been revealed is to create an ebook version of the ‘red book’ which is given to all new parents to track their child’s immunisations, which will hopefully prevent the details from becoming lost if a parent actually loses their red book.
It is believed that by making medical records more mobile, it gives the patient more control over how they look after their health.
Tim Kelsey, national informatics director, said: “We must embrace modern technology to help us lead healthier lives, and if we want – to take more control when are ill.”
There is no doubt that, as long as the safety and privacy requirements are put into place 100 per cent, this new proposal from the NHS will change the way in which our health system works and will be a turning point for the medical industry.
Secretary of state Jeremy Hunt said: “I want the NHS to be a world class showcase of what innovation can achieve. Today’s plan sets out how we can give patients 21st century, personalised healthcare.”