Scottish Government Announces The Launch Of ‘Health-e-Space’ Website
The 'Health-e-Space' website has gone online in Moray, Scotland, aiming to encourage individuals to play an active role in personal health matters by providing them with a series of online tools and information.
The website allows anybody living in Moray to become a member and to obtain local health information, links to recommended websites and suggestions on how to live with health conditions. Its sister website, the 'Health-e-Space Community', serves as a social networking platform for people to share their health concerns and experiences among them in the Moray area.
The co-founder of Health-e-Space and consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology at Dr. Gray's hospital in Elgin, Professor Grant P. Cummings, said that according to a recent research the drive behind empowering people to take greater responsibility for their health has arisen. He also added that "We've got to start thinking about doing health differently. If we carry on doing what we're doing now, research shows that by 2020 almost every school leaver will need to be involved in the healthcare sector."
The website moreover provides users with several services such as 'visit the clinic', an online tool for patients to interact with professionals of the National Health System (NHS). It also offers detailed information on health conditions and a section where clinicians can blog about specialist subjects.
Mr. Cummings compared the eHealth portal with some of the well-known social networking websites but with a distinctive difference - that of discretion - since patients' health matters can remain private.
The initial cost for the creation of the website was around £4 000 (approx. €4 500) and its development is being completed as a partnership involving the NHS Grampian, the Moray Community Health & Social Care Partnership (MCHSCP), the Moray College, the Moray Council and several others.
Cummings said that he did not see Health-e-Space as a competitor to HealthSpace, the English NHS website being rolled out alongside the Summary Care Record to allow patients to access elements of their patient record. In this regard, he said: "Giving people access to their records through the site may be something we look to do in the future but it's certainly a few more years down the line."
Cumming's vision is that the website will provide patients with their own patient centred medical toolkit that encompasses clinician's expertise, linked websites, information on where to go for treatment and purchases and the view of the patient to provide complete personal view of an individuals health needs. "As far as we know there is nothing out there like this. The clinician is the expert in the diagnosis but the patient is the expert in their own care."