The first PHR integration with the NHS App

Gurpreet SaraiNews, Slider

The All-in-One PKB-NHS App integration in partnership with NHS Digital

Patients Know Best (PKB) has launched the ‘All-in-One’ integration with the NHS App, becoming the first Personal Health Record (PHR) integration and extending the NHS App’s current features to include PKB’s full health and care record and functionality. 

The NHS App, delivered by NHS Digital, is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on a smartphone or tablet and is available to all patients aged 13 and over who are registered with a GP practice in England. This first of its kind national integration allows patients with a PKB personal health record to directly access their combined dataset from PKB within the NHS App interface.

PKB is contracted for more than 12 million people to use the service across the UK. The PKB platform includes health information generated from GPs as well as hospitals, community and mental health services and the patient’s own contributed data, for example from monitoring devices or questionnaires.

Tried and tested

Connected Nottinghamshire, the digital transformation programme for the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care System, became the first healthcare provider to pilot the integration which has been successfully running since February and is delivered in partnership with NHS Digital. 

The number of NHS App users has more than doubled since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in March and it now stands at over 800,000. Digital healthcare services reduce inequalities by assisting the wider population and particularly the most vulnerable, isolated and those with complex health needs, to safely and conveniently access care.

Alexis Farrow, Head of Strategy and Transformation at Connected Nottinghamshire said: “We’re thrilled to offer our population access to this innovative solution from Patients Know Best and the NHS App. The partnership between Patients Know Best and NHS Digital means we can provide our residents with seamless access to digital health and care services through the NHS App. Nottinghamshire now has over 45,000 people registered for and using the NHS App and this integration with Patients Know Best means that our population now has access to so much more which is a huge step forward in modernising the way people interact with the NHS.”

Enhanced NHS App functionality

PKB is the leading provider of personal health records to the UK and the only provider able to offer patients their combined information, now with this added association with the NHS App. This integration will allow users of the NHS App to directly sign up for a PKB record to enhance their current offering of access to GP records only. This is a significant milestone in the company’s history which founded the social enterprise with the mission to ensure that every person has the ability to own a copy of their personal health record. 

“Giving them greater control”

Ian Phoenix, NHS Digital Director of Citizen Health Technology, said: “The NHS App is one of the many tools being used by hundreds of thousands of people across England giving them greater control of managing their healthcare. 

“Integrating personal health records with digital tools like the NHS App, underpinned by NHS login, will empower patients to have greater visibility and ownership of their own medical records – so they are all in one place and accessible to them whenever they are needed.”

The model for international governments

Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, CEO and Founder of Patients Know Best, added: “This is the first PHR integration with the NHS App and another step towards making personal health records widely accessible for all. Owning a copy of your health record is not only empowering for patients but it is also vital for the delivery of safe care. I’m thankful to NHS Digital and Connected Nottinghamshire for choosing PKB to make this happen. As a result, we’re well on the way to ensuring that every person can access a copy of their live health record using the NHS App, starting with people in Nottinghamshire. 

“This is also a model for working with governments globally. NHSX’s approach to the NHS App as a platform for innovation strikes the balance between giving a core offer to citizens while allowing technology leaders the freedom to develop ground-breaking products that meet specific user needs. Other governments are asking PKB about a similar model for their citizens.” 

Features and benefits

PKB users who access their record via the NHS App can see their existing features easily in one place. This includes messages, consultations, care plans, medicines and appointments. Other features including test results (hospitals), symptom tracking and the journal are scheduled to be released in the coming months. 

Residents of Nottinghamshire can use the NHS App to register for their PKB record. Other regions including London, Cheshire and Sussex are also expected to follow this year.