Although they are all about you, it is quite difficult to access your medical records.  In fact, I had to pay approximately £30 to have a copy of them.  However, the National Health Service of the United Kingdom has recently jumped on the app bandwagon, and hopes to begin working with health apps that are available on Smartphones. Their first plan is to create a kitemark (an official kite-shaped mark on goods approved by the British Standards Institution) on approved health apps.  Those applications that fulfil the NHS required standards, will then qualify to have access to any users’ medical records. The NHS kitemark will reassure users that their personal records and details will be safe within selected apps.

What does this mean for products like Apple’s HealthKit, Microsoft’s Health and Google’s Fit?  Potentially, they may be able to include information on their apps that is shared by your doctor and hospital in the NHS system.

Although it seems unrealistic, the NHS plans on becoming completely paperless by 2018.  As well as creating digital files of medical records, the red book that contains a baby’s information and immunisation records will also become obsolete through digitalisation.

The plan is for patients and doctors to have online access to medical records by 2017.  The hope is that they can also be shared across the NHS system electronically.

Simple things like changing doctors will be simpler if Doctors have access to all of your files online.  When I changed my address at my doctor’s, I still received hospital appointments to my old address as I hadn’t physically gone in to change my address.  This may seem a small gesture, but if they can’t access address change, can they tell if I’m diabetic or not? 

As of right now, only 4% of records are accessible online.  We will have to see how all of this pans out.

[Image via msoft]