[UK] Taking responsibility for one’s own health records, let alone storing then online, is a pretty alien concept to most Brits, considering the National Health Service (NHS) and the centrally stored patient database that’s being rolled out on our behalf. That isn’t stopping Scotland-based MyVaccs, however, which is hoping to persuade parents, students and frequent travelers in the UK to upload their vaccination history and utilise the site’s ability to help them stay up to date with any required jabs.
To begin using the site users enter vaccination data for either themselves and/or their family members. MyVaccs then offers a immunisation path for young children, for example, or the option to pick a travel destination and see a list of recommended vaccines for said country, all displayed against a check list of the patient’s own vaccination records. It’s perhaps this feature alone that’s the real pull for end-users.
MyVaccss isn’t designed to replace the NHS’s own record keeping but rather complement a system to which patients don’t have direct access. Co-founder Angus Burt says that he came up with the idea after continually losing his own vaccination records and getting fed up with paying his General Practitioner (GP) a fee to track them down.
The rise of private clinics providing inoculation for various diseases has also compounded the problem, he says. “More often then not a record of the vaccination administered in a private clinic never makes it back to the records held by the patient’s GP.”
Cue MyVaccs’ revenue model.
Although not yet operational, MyVaccs hopes to generate revenue through referrals to private clinics. Once a user has established what vaccinations are recommended or required to travel, compared against their own vaccination history, they’ll be able to source an appropriate vaccination clinic through the site’s partner clinic network. MyVaccs will then collect a referral fee from the clinic based on a percentage of what the patient spends. That’s the plan anyway.
With all that said, it’s still questionable whether or not MyVaccs is more of a feature than a product in itself – is keeping track of vaccinations really a big enough problem to solve all on its own? – which inevitably brings us to all-encompassing health record systems such as Google Health or Microsoft Health Vault. Neither, or course, are currently available in the UK but could still launch here in the future.
Burt is skeptical that these types of systems are suitable for the British health care system, however, as they would still require “a large amount of involvement from already overworked GPs and medical professionals.” In comparison, he says, MyVaccs only needs the cooperation of the end-user.
MyVaccs is owned and operated by privately funded Empericus Ltd, although the company is hoping to raise additional funding in the next six months.