One-quarter of smartphone users in the United Kingdom will be able check medical records on an NHS mobile app by 2017, according to health secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Speaking at NHS Innovation Expo in Manchester, Hunt put forward several plans to make the NHS a more technology and mobile first health service.
The app will show medical records, offer online advice and online services. In the future, it could be used to schedule appointments, order medicine and have robust training exercises.
All NHS patients should be able to access an electronic medical record by 2016. The current trend shows less than 10 per cent can access an online record, but Hunt is confident that these issues will be fixed in the next 12 months.
The health secretary expects a large shift in culture once these mobile and online services are available. More people will go online to check symptoms and speak to professionals, before going into a hospital to get a check up.
This could help places like walk-in centres and hospitals that are suffering from overcrowding. It could also bring new jobs to the NHS that involve speaking to patients over voice or video chat, and recommending the best course of action.
By 2018, Hunt expects all doctors and nurses to be able to check up on a patient’s record, even if they are from the other side of the country. With an online cloud based system, the NHS should be able to move faster and quickly check medical records.
There are some worries that putting all of this information online leaves it open to hackers. The NHS is working with security teams across the UK to ensure patient’s information is safe and secure.
These systems should allow for a more mobile and flexible national health service. The system should mitigate the amount of negligence happening across the UK, and allow doctors and nurses quicker access to the information they need.