Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership in the UK is running a pilot of a web platform which allows users to store their medical data in a Personal Online Data Store - or pod.
The secure web software will interface with key Janeiro Digital proprietary technologies, enabling patients to store health and social care records in an interoperable format. Users can decide which individuals, organisations and apps can access the data and add caretaking notes that clinicians can read to improve patient care.
Greater Manchester will initially focus the pilot on carers of dementia patients in the Tameside, Salford and Trafford localities.
NatWest Bank, the BBC and the government of the Belgian region of Flanders are among other institutions piloting the open source platform.
WHY IT MATTERS
Inrupt’s technology can help solve the problem of interoperability by allowing medical records to be shared with all healthcare workers who see a patient across different services, while allowing the user to control permissions. This prevents patients and carers having to repeat their conditions and stories multiple times.
It will also enable integration with self-monitoring tools, wearables activity, nutrition, and other data.
Berners-Lee said that the project aims to put people back in charge of data generated about them.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
Interoperability has long been a key concern to the NHS. A report published by the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons last week warned that the NHS and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have a long way to go to deal with and move on from, the legacy of their track record of failed IT programmes.
This follows the DHSC's “expensive and largely unsuccessful” attempts to introduce an integrated IT system with patient records available electronically between 2002 and 2011.
ON THE RECORD
In his blog post, Inrupt’s chief technology officer, Sir Tim Berners-Lee said: “I founded Inrupt to trigger an inevitable shift in how the web operates, to mobilise resources and set a long-term direction in motion. Today that shift takes a significant step.
“The technologies we’re releasing today are a component of a much-needed course correction for the web. It’s exciting to see organisations using Solid to improve the lives of everyday people - through better healthcare, more efficient government services and much more.”
Scott Watson, technical director at Salford Royal Hospital, said: “It's a way of storing all your data in one place, that's associated with you as an individual, and then all the different services that you interact with come to you - so you tell your story only once."