Patients to get live access to health summaries

Patients at 180 GP practices will soon have access to their medical history via a $5.99 app.

The Australian-developed Meditracker app, which is being rolled out at IPN practices, gives live access to health summaries and medications.

Patients can also show their medication list to pharmacists to help avoid drug interactions or adverse events.

The app has been trialed at several IPN medical centres since January. It also links to various fitness trackers.

Dr Gerard Foley, CEO of IPN Medical Centres, says Meditracker can by used by other practices — at no additional cost to the practice — provided they use Best Practice and CDMnet.

Consultation notes, documents and confidential information are not sent to the Meditracker app. Information is drawn from CDMnet, which contains only the health summary.

“The app will be most useful to patients with a chronic disease diagnosis because it allows them to navigate their care plan,” says Dr Foley.

“At least initially it will be used by more motivated and organised patients but we expect use will increase over time.”

If a patient has more than one regular GP the patient will only be able to download summaries from the practice they nominated when they set up the app.

If patients need to access records from more than one doctor, My Health Record would be more appropriate than Meditracker, Dr Foley says.

“It’s not perfect but it’s heading in the right direction.

Initially the app will have non-sensitive pathology results that have been sighted by the GP — such as HbA1c and cholesterol.

However, patient demand is likely to drive access to more sensitive information.

In the UK many patients can access all their pathology results while a number of US states require doctors to have a patient-facing portal for health information.