We are publishing a draft of the technical standards of the Personal Health Records (PHR) component of the National Health Stack (NHS)!
As a refresher, these standards govern the consented sharing of health information between Health Information Providers (HIPs) - like hospitals, pathology labs, and clinics - and Health Information Users (HIUs) like pharmacies, medical consultants, doctors, and so on. The user’s consent to share their health data is issued via a new entity called a Health Data Consent Manager (HDCM).
The problem today is that the electronic health records listed in one app or ecosystem are not easily portable to other systems. There is no common standard that can be used to discover, share, and authenticate data between different networks or ecosystems. This means that the electronic medical records generated by users end up being confined to many different isolated silos, which can result in frustrating and complex experiences for patients wishing to manage data lying across different providers.
With the PHR system, a user is able to generate a longitudinal view of their health data across providers. The interoperability and security of the PHR architecture allows users to securely discover, share, and manage their health data in a safe, convenient, and universally acceptable manner. For instance, a user could use a HDCM to discover their account at one hospital or diagnostic lab, and then select certain electronic reports to share with a doctor from another hospital or clinic. The flow of data would be safe, and the user would have granular control over who can access their data and for how long. Here is a small demo of the PHR system in action.
The standards in the draft released today offers a high-level description of the architecture and flows that make this possible.