NHS sets out roadmap for a digital future

NHS chiefs have published a two year roadmap for digital health projects, including a ‘digital ID’ service for patients by 2020.

The Citizen ID project aims to give UK residents a single secure login to online government services such as updating a driving licence, or filing a tax return.

NHS England already runs Patient Online, a digital GP support service that allows patients to book and cancel appointments, order repeat prescriptions, and view coded GP records covering allergies, immunisations, diagnoses, medication and test results.

According to the roadmap, the Citizen ID project, which the government hoped to begin trialling in late 2017, will begin alpha-testing in the first quarter of the 2018-19 financial year.

A full Citizen ID service is scheduled to begin trials in 2019-20.

A range of other projects will build on the existing services offered via through the NHS Choices website, which provides information about services, and conditions and treatments.

Other projects due to begin trial stage in 2018/19 include a design manual for digital services standards, and a type 1 diabetes online education project. Trials of an electronic personal child health record will begin in 2019/2020.

Free wi-fi in GP practices

The roadmap also outlines the digital health services set to become nationally available – starting with free wi-fi in all GP practices by Q1 2018-19.

There will also be an NHS Choices Pharmacy Finder, followed by tools allowing developers to build apps to work with NHS Choices in the second quarter.

Coming in Q3 and Q4 will be a new NHS website, an app library, an online version of the 111 non-emergency services, an NHS phone and wi-fi in secondary care.

Further down the line in 2019-2020, the NHS plans to introduce digital psychological therapies, and digital inclusion pilot projects.

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