In an effort to tighten efficiencies and correct inaccuracies, researchers and entrepreneurs around the world are exploring different methods of capturing patients’ health records, says MIT’s Technology Review.
Some countries have developed smart cards that can hold a patient’s medical history. Researchers in the U.K. have created MyCare, a smart card with a fold-out USB plug. MyCare was developed with open source that enables it to run on different computers and operating systems. Data is protected through PINs and encryption, with a higher level of encryption planned for further stages in the development process.
Smart card projects have also been developed for countries with limited infrastructure that have problems supporting network-based systems. SmartCare is a card-based system that was introduced in Zambia and has since expanded to Ethiopia and South Africa. SmartCare enables patients to keep their records with them.
These smart card projects work better in countries with nationalized health care. In the U.S., competition among hospitals is a barrier to a smart card system. A cloud-based information system may be a better solution because it allows doctors within a network to have access to vital patient information.
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