Pilot scheme invites five private and public sector organisations to take part
The identity verification platform on which the NHS app is based is being opened up to a range of organisations.
A pilot scheme will see five partners connecting their services to the NHS login platform – an identity-verification tool has been developed to allow patients wishing to access their health records to prove their identity. The aim of the trial programme is to develop and improve the verification tool to make it easier for organisations to plug into NHS login in the future.
Tiny Medical Apps, a small business specialising in low-cost health apps – including the NHS-funded Digital Health Passport – is the first of the five partners chosen for the pilot. The second is online consultation tool eConsult, and the third is Helm, which is developing a health record to be held by citizens.
The Audit and Transparency Summary Care Record project run by NHS Digital will also take part in the trial. The final partner is another NHS programme, Digital Child Health, which has seen the health service team up with specialist firm Sitekit to create a digital healthcare record for children called the Redbook.
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Ian Phoenix, director of citizen health technology at NHS Digital, said: “We are pleased to announce this latest stage for NHS login and are grateful for the input from our early partners which will no doubt help to improve the service for everyone. A single NHS login will make it easier for people to use health and care websites and apps and lower the burden on the NHS by taking this task away from care workers on the front line.”
Some 3,400 patients have already trialled NHS login during the pilot phase of the NHS app, which was launched to the public late last year. Work to connect more external apps and record providers to the platform will accelerate from April, after which NHS Digital will begin to “connect [partners] to the service as quickly as possible”.
Simon Eccles, NHS chief clinical information officer for health and care, said: “As set out in the Long Term Plan, the NHS login has great potential to provide a single easy, safe and secure way for patients to access digital services. This pilot is an exciting development to ensure external partners can connect to NHS login, once that’s possible the login will be a catalyst to enable patients to take greater control of their own health and make greater use of digital tools.”