I can’t believe what I’ve just read. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he wants 15% of NHS users to regularly access their GP record via smartphone apps by 2016/17. Apparently he went further by suggesting patients should be able to modify their patient records via smartphone and plug in devices such as digital step counters to upload data to their record. I’d really like to know what he has for breakfast in the mornings that enables him to dream this stuff up. It sounds fun and I’d like to try it please.
Seriously though, what planet is this man on? Does he really think patients uploading daily step data to their medical record will be of any help to GPs? Maybe he does. Perhaps this is a cunning plan to claw back even more money from practices by incorporating the data into QOF? You can just see it happening – QOF requirements in the future will mean we not only have to record exercise advice but unless the patients record shows they have actually done the exercise there’s no payment. The whole idea is actually brilliant in its simplicity.
Perhaps he expects us to be monitoring patients via our smartphones 24 hours a day so we can send an encouraging text message to the lazy ones who aren’t exercising enough? What would yours say?
Anyway, if I can’t get hold of Mr Hunt’s breakfast cereal I’ll just have to keep hitting the FFS button more often.
Dr Hadrian Moss is a GP in Kettering, Northamptonshire. You can tweet him at@DrHMoss