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Trial sites of My Health Record announced

Far North Queensland and the Nepean Blue Mountains region of New South Wales will host the opt-out eHealth trials, Minister for Health Sussan Ley has announced.

Sussan Ley

Sussan Ley

The trials will commence in early 2016 and include around one million Australians.

The much-awaited announcement was made by Minister Ley in an address to the National Press Club in Canberra last Wednesday.

Ms Ley said one of the great criticisms of the current model was that it could not be used unless a patient signed up.

The trial will test an all-inclusive system of the My Health Record that gives consumers who do not want their medical history made available the option to opt-out.

‘Digital health revolution’

Elsewhere, Ms Ley said she was keen to explore better ways of giving Australians greater control over managing their health including allowing consumers open-source access to their health data.

In this age of smartphones, watches and wallets that “the great digital health revolution lies literally in the palms of consumers,” she said.

“What if we, as government, got out the way and gave consumers full access to their own personalised health data and full control over how they choose to use it?

“What if you, as a consumer, were able to take your personal Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme data to a health care service; to an app developer; to a dietician; to a retailer and say how can you deliver the best health services for my individual needs?” Ms Ley told the Press Club.

Comparing the concept to how customers access and customise a banking product, Minister Ley said giving consumers open-source access to their health data would allow them to:

  • create a health portfolio of products and services customised to their own needs simply by providing their data
  • allow someone’s doctor to use an app developed on the free market to monitor their patient’s blood pressure at home following an operation, or keep a real time count on their insulin levels
  • keep informed of parents’ health wellbeing via digital connections so they can remain in their own homes, rather than prematurely entering residential aged-care.

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