A new smartphone app is being developed to improve health outcomes for patients with disability. The smartphone app, called the Health Passport is being produced by the West Moreton Hospital in Queensland, to help simplify communication between patients, their families, carers and healthcare professionals. It enables patients who may not be able to effectively communicate their health care needs to regularly update their important health information.
Acting as a supplementary health record, the information will be collected in a secure cloud-based storage system which the hospital and health service will access through the web. Once developed the Health Passport will be one of the first internationally available smartphone applications that can fulfil the requirements of a patient-centred technology solution to support updated patient information in a healthcare setting.
Project lead Cheryl Burns (pictured) said the concept would initially be aimed at patients with intellectual or learning disabilities before being adopted for broader use by people with communication difficulties or complex care needs.
“It is a widely recognised fact that patients with intellectual or learning disabilities experience poorer healthcare and have a greater number of clinical incidents. This can be attributed to the communication difficulties between patients, their families, carer and health professionals during episodes of care in all settings,” she said.
The Health Passport is currently used in New Zealand and the UK but only in a paper-based form.