This site is intended for health professionals only

Eight in 10 patients sceptical about health apps accessing records

Patients would rather not have their data handled by health tech companies, a survey of more than 2,000 people has shown.

A survey carried out by PwC found a majority of UK patients believe that health apps (80%) and healthcare technology (84%) should not be allowed access to patient records.

The accountancy giant’s regular patient survey also suggested that 80% had never accessed their own health records and 88% don’t know how.

However, despite this, patients recognise the value of NHS providers sharing patient data, PwC added.

The survey found that 92% of participants are happy for health records to be shared between different parts of the healthcare system.

PwC health industries leader Quentin Cole said: ‘Lack of awareness of how to access records and also how their data is managed, followed by the NHS cyber-attack earlier this year, has meant there is a scepticism and mistrust in how their patient records are managed.

‘The NHS needs to address this by educating patients and therefore building their trust. Through this, the window of opportunity for new tech companies will widen.’

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that every patient will be able to book a GP appointment and access health records via an app by the end of next year.