The Australian Digital Health Agency has come up with its first mobile consumer application for accessing health information on My Health Record.
WHAT IT DOES
Available on both iOS and Android devices, the my health app has a user-friendly interface where users can quickly view medicine information history, vaccination history and upcoming immunisations, hospital discharge summaries, pathology results, and other records. They can also track allergies and reactions information and advance care planning documents. Moreover, they can instantly share documents with others right from the home screen.
Based on a media release, a co-design approach was taken to develop the app; interviews, surveys, and user testing were done with consumers and medical professionals to shape the app experience.
To secure consumers’ health information, “robust” data protection mechanisms were built into the app, the agency mentioned. It is also fully integrated with end-to-end encryption with the MHR platform.
Additionally, the app seamlessly connects with the MHR, leveraging ADHA’s new Health API Gateway; this allows new health data on the MHR to be automatically downloaded onto the my health app.
WHY IT MATTERS
ADHA’s newest mobile app offers convenient access to health information which ultimately provides people with “greater autonomy over their health journey” and supports them in actively managing their health. Such accessibility, according to CEO Amanda Cattermole, is one of the hallmarks of a modern health system.
THE LARGER TREND
The my health app was developed in response to rising consumer demand for a more convenient way to safely and instantly access key health information on MHR. In 2022 alone, it saw a 292% year-on-year jump in consumer views of MHR. Moreover, it was also observed that around 75% of user interactions with the MHR are done on mobile devices. Adelaide-based consultant Chamonix IT Management Consulting was tapped for the mobile app development in 2021 via a competitive tender process.
The Strengthening Medicare Task Force, which was formed to identify the most pressing investments needed in Australia’s primary care sector, recently suggested modernising the “clunky” MHR, among other recommendations it forwarded to the government. It wished to see the platform be used by both healthcare providers and patients at the point of care “to improve clinical decision-making.”
In other related news, by next month April, clinical information systems that connect to the MHR will start complying with a new security requirements conformance profile. The security profile, which will be implemented across five tranches within two years, is aligned with the best-practice standards set by the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s “Essential Eight” cybersecurity threat mitigation strategies.
ON THE RECORD
“We know from our own research that almost two-thirds of Australians regularly use their mobile phones to access, share, and manage their health information, so the release of a consumer-facing app is not only a logical technical development but also a direct response to consumer demand for access to health information when and where they need it,” Cattermole said.