It will be interesting to observe. BCS Primary Health Care Specialist Group conference this year is entitled "The Robot will see you now", it has been intriguing that some big names declined to come as they felt they had nothing to show.
Has Babylon been accredited as a medical device yet?
Totally agree with David Banner. This is rare and specialist stuff and should at the very least be specialist initiation, however where appropriate it should remain available.
Sadly I'm not surprised by this fine, there is a widespread lack of appreciation of the challenges of IG (worse in secondary care than primary). IG has become a core competency for us and needs to be in every education programme. Money (probably not enough) gets spent on IT infrastructure and software, but there is no equivalent commitment of funding to support the required educational programmes.
Funny how no-one was promoting this when there was only a cheap generic anticoagulant, not a new expensive on-patent NOAC.......
Am I getting too cynical?
Does this take account of those like me who are retiring, just not taking our pensions yet as doing other things?
The challenge is in setting the threshold. The higher you set it the more cancers will be "missed", the lower you set it the more "normal" people will be seen for every cancer diagnosed. These tools give us the numbers. The voters (or the politicians) must decide where they want the balance. The trouble is they either lack the understanding or the honesty for an open dialogue.
I do recommend viewing the video on how the checker template works though, it gives the opportunity to code the symptoms as you go which is very helpful in guiding routes of referral. http://emisnug.org.uk/article/using-cancer-symptom-checker-emis-web
If you listen to Dawn Monaghan's talk at the EMIS NUG conference it is the NHS England and HSCIC's responsibility to explain what they are doing with the data http://emisnug.org.uk/article/ico-update-national-user-group-caredata-obligations
I therefore suggest that every letter gives an NHS England or HSCIC phone number to call for further information, or else suggest they tweet @tkelsey1
The whole debate is meaningless, some patients need 30 mins, but others only need 2-3. We need to run flexible systems, that is the challenge
Many thanks to everyone who has taken the trouble to read and respond to this piece. As I say in it I am actually a strong advocate of patient access to their records, my concern is the government stated requirement for all GP practices to offer it by April 2015. As shown by the work of Amir and the support of Ingrid it can be a powerful tool for the good when implemented thoughtfully and well.
I do still feel however that there a significant hurdles to jump if it is to be rolled out en masse.
As I see it there are now two key requirements for this to realise its full benefits:
The first is to implement some (minor) technical "fixes" enabling more sophisticated flagging of confidential items within the records.
The second and major task is a campaign of education and training. If the government is serious about good patient access to records they will remove the April 2015 target, make training in records access mandatory in the same way as resuscitation or safeguarding, and put up the money to support it.
No doubt it would make some of the patients of people like Amir and the other trail blazers sorry to lose him from their surgery for a while, but it would be to the enormous benefit of the rest!
MIS NUG has been campaigning on this and trying to raise up the agenda since last July. Let's hope that at last The BMA, RCGP and NHSE are listening. The objectives (stated) of this programme are desirable, but can be achieved in better ways. Unless there are other (unstated) objectives maybe this is an opportunity to get those better approaches adopted. http://emisnug.org.uk/article/postponement-caredata-extractions
The data will only be released for research purposes. With minimum alcohol pricing on the agenda wouldn't it be useful to know what people with alcohol problems spend on their alcohol. Of course this would require identifiable data to the bona fide researcher (Tesco), so release of identifiers would be approved.....................
It is not the idea, but the implementation that is wrong. The technology is there to pseudonimise at source, so significantly reducing the risks. The failure to do this leads many to fear another agenda. As Professor Jones states "great majority of patients would support the use of their data, aggregated or pseudonymised, for research for patient benefit". It is the failure to pseudonimise that is causing the problem.
I'm afraid this attitude rather undermines their desire to be seen as independently practising professionals leading the care of women through pregnancy and child-birth.