Despite what certain people may have you believe having the NHS is great, it’s not perfect but nothing ever is. One of the issues it has faced is ditching paper and advancing into the digital age, something that it’s taking the first step towards right now, starting with kitemark.
Kitemark is a response to the growing number of health-related apps that have appeared within the last 12 months. One of the things that a lot of people have worried about with things like Apple’s Healthkit is the security aspect of giving a mobile app access to medical records. To help ease concerns and ensure user data is kept secure, an NHS kitemark will be awarded to certain health apps to validate that they are safe and secure.
The NHS is also going to make sure patient records are available to users digitally, starting with allowing people to access their GP records online — something the NHS hopes to have working by next March. Following on from that a digital version of the ‘red book’, which allows parents to keep track of their children’s health updates and vaccinations, will be available in 2016. After that it’s hoped that patients will be able to access their full medical history online in 2017.
But that’s not all, from 2018 you could well be adding your own comments and wearable data to your medical history. It won’t affect any of the official entries made by doctors and medical professionals, but it will give them the opportunity to monitor your day-to-day health and possibly even personalise your treatment.
It’s going to be a long process, and an awful lot probably needs to be done to ensure that this system is put into place, but if it means a more convenient way for people to get treatment and review their own medical history it can only really be a good thing.