There is a significant change coming this year to the way we manage our health, a new digital system called My Health record coming by the end of this year.
The federal government, through its primary health networks is promoting My Health Record as “a digital improvement in healthcare that is useful in managing (people’s) health and wellbeing.”
Under the system every Australian will be offered a My Health Record by at the end of 2018 unless they choose not to have one during the three month opt out period that will run from July 16 to October 15.
Almost six million Australians already have a My Health Record but I suspect most people have not yet heard of it.
The government says My Health Record is a secure, online summary of health information that can be viewed online anywhere, anytime via the Internet.
I can certainly see advantages.
My Health Record stores health information in one place, easily accessed by registered health service providers with the permission of the patient.
It enables important health information including allergies, medical conditions, medicines, pathology and imaging reports to be accessed through one system.
The Western Primary Health Network said My Health Record is an important tool for people in our part of the world with its diverse range of consumers and providers.
They say My Health Record will benefit patients with complex conditions and many practitioners, plus healthcare providers can make better informed clinical decisions as they have access to a wider range of health information.
And while it is good to see how digital health innovation in Australia can benefit rural and remote communities, I do have concerns about privacy and also about how this data could be used for nefarious purposes by bad actors.
The WPH say strict privacy controls, set by the individual, is a central feature of My Health Record but we see from Facebook that many people don’t really understand how to set their privacy settings and we’ve also seen how people have had their business data hijacked forcing them to fay fees in Bitcoins to anonymous fraudsters to get it back.
Let’s hope the system is safe – Derek Barry