Blockchain and electronic health records put diabetic NHS patients in control of their own medical data

Patients Know Best (PKB), the world’s first patient-controlled medical record, is working with pioneering blockchain health record integration company, Dovetail Lab, to integrate GP practice software and provide a virtual shared medical record to diabetic patients in Bury.

The project is funded by SBRI Healthcare through the General Practice of the Future competition, and will enable relevant data to be shared between different members of a multidisciplinary team, with patient consent and data transfer events between records securely logged using blockchain technology. SBRI Healthcare is an NHS England funded programme which is supported by the 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) to spread innovation at pace and scale – improving health and generating economic growth.

The project uses blockchain technology to interact seamlessly with existing medical records systems in order to provide an auditable and secure ledger of medical data interactions. Patients benefit from the digital record provided to them via PKB, with the ability to manage their care from home using blood glucose, blood pressure and weight monitoring smart devices. They can also interact with their professionals remotely, and share their care plans with other local professionals.

Dovetail Lab’s CEO, Alexandra Eavis, said:

We want to give patients control of their medical data and help them manage their conditions for better health outcomes. We are using cutting-edge distributed ledger technology to make record sharing transparent and gather explicit patient consent. This gives patients and practitioners the comfort that sensitive data is shared securely and on a need-to-know basis.

For the project, Dovetail Lab will facilitate integration between GP practice software and PKB, plus other health practitioners’ software, allowing general practice professionals the ability to share data securely with their diabetic patients, and to see information the patient enters. Diabetic patients will be able to use internet-enabled, home smart health monitoring devices to send important data securely to their healthcare professionals. Enabling patients to do this from home frees up clinic time for the healthcare professional and saves time for the patient. Changes in condition can be picked up more quickly with conditions being monitored more regularly.

Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, CEO of Patients Know Best, said:

This is another example of PKB’s patient-controlled approach integrating well with other systems. We are proud to work with Dovetail Lab’s pioneering blockchain technology to show patients their data from GP systems, and to make home recorded glucose measurements and medical information available from patient to GP.

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About Dovetail Lab

Dovetail Lab is a pioneering blockchain health record integration company enabling the secure and accountable medical data sharing that patients and practitioners want. We aim to radically improve information governance and flexible information sharing between all practitioners and their patients. We believe that distributed ledger technology holds the key to meaningful EHR systems integration and we are working in partnership with the NHS to harness the power and security of this new technology. Our systems integration using blockchain will give patients full control of their healthcare records and deliver coordinated exchange of data between health services – Increasing accountability, mitigating risk and maximising health outcomes for patients.  

About Patients Know Best

Patients Know Best is the world’s first fully patient-controlled online medical records system and a multi-award winning tool to help patients manage their care better. Patients Know Best is fully secure and enables patients to organise, manage and control their own health care provision – it also saves the time of physicians through allowing secure, online consultations. Patients Know Best’s first customers include Great Ormond Street Hospital, St Mark’s Hospital and NHS South Devon. Patients Know Best integrates fully into the NHS N3 secure network and is available for use by any patient with any clinician anywhere in the world. It is now used by over 60 hospitals across seven countries and complies fully with UK NHS information governance requirements as well as the EU Data Protection Act and US HIPAA legislation for dealing with medical data.

PKB Awards include:

  •    February 2016: Axa PPP Health Tech & You Overall Category Winner – Champion Award.
  •    October 2015: E-Health Insider Award, ‘Best Use of Technology to Share Information with Patients and Carers’.
  •    September 2015: Awarded a ‘founding member’ of BCorporation.
  •    June 2015: One of 17 companies chosen for NHS England’s Digital Health Accelerator Programme.
  •    May 2015: Received ‘Champion’ award at the eHealth Competition, a Europe-wide, European Commission-backed prize.

About SBRI Healthcare

SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) Healthcare is an NHS England funded programme that provides funding and support to innovative companies to solve healthcare problems. The SBRI Healthcare team works closely with clinicians and frontline NHS staff to identify key challenges from within the service, focusing on specific areas recognised as priority by NHS England and the 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs). The programme aims to improve patient care, increase efficiency in the NHS and support the UK economy by helping smaller companies grow.

The SBRI Healthcare programme is based on taking a two-phased development approach. Projects start with an initial feasibility study (Phase 1) and can then move on to detailed product development (Phase 2). Phase 1 contracts for feasibility testing are valued at up to £100,000 and last for six months. Phase 2 contracts for prototype development are worth up to £1 million and can extend over two years. Each contract is 100% funded by SBRI Healthcare and while the public sector has the right to license the resultant technology in certain circumstances, its intellectual property remains with the company.

The programme’s network of innovative companies extends throughout the UK. Since launching in 2009, £75 million has been awarded to over 150 companies developing solutions for major NHS challenges such as cancer detection, dementia care, mental health in young people and self-management of long-term conditions. SBRI Healthcare supported companies are already making an impact.

About AHSN Network

There are 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) across England, established by NHS England in 2013 to spread innovation at pace and scale – improving health and generating economic growth.

Each AHSN works across a distinct geography serving a different population in each region. As the only bodies that connect NHS and academic organisations, local authorities, the third sector and industry, AHSNs are catalysts that create the right conditions to facilitate change across whole health and social care economies, with a clear focus on improving outcomes for patients.

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