Is the UK Getting a Blue Button? Humetrix Presents at NHS Innovation Expo

Optimized-iBlueButtonHumetrix presented its iBlueButton application Thursday at the NHS Innovation Expo in London. Patients in the United States use iBlueButton to download their latest health record and share it with their providers, and soon U.K. citizens should be able to do the same.

The National Health Service invited Humetrix to show iBlueButton in England after Mark Davies, medical director of the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre, saw it demonstrated at Health Datapalooza in Washington, D.C. last year. The United Kingdom government has previously said that patients must be able to access their general practitioner’s record online by 2015.

“The NHS looks set to copy the hugely successful U.S. Blue Button initiative,” Jon Hoeksma wrote earlier this week for EHealth Insider, suggesting that iBlueButton could fast track the nation to achieving its 2015 goal. The Blue Button initiative Hoeksma is referring to was first launched buy the United States Department of Veterans Affairs in 2010 in order to give vets more control over their health information and to allow them to share it with their doctors and caregivers.

Humetrix expanded the reach of Blue Button by allowing veterans as well as Medicaid beneficiaries, Aetna members, and RelayHealth users to download their health record onto their mobile device with the iBlueButton app. Patients can use the “push” feature of the app to share the file with their providers on their own Apple and Android devices. The idea is that if the data resides with the patient, they can their give their doctors access to it no matter where they receive care.

Vendors Cerner and TPP were asked by the NHS to make their systems available to Humetrix so that it could carry out the demo in the U.K. TPP, whose EHR is used in the ambulatory care setting, is responsible for more than 26 million patient records, and Cerner is used at 22 acute care trusts across the U.K.

“Our approach enables providers and suppliers to contribute to the innovation in personal health empowerment. This capability, demonstrated first by Humetrix, is one of many recent examples of Cerner’s dedication to interoperability and data liquidity,” Senior Director of Community Health Solutions at Cerner Brian Carter said in a press release.

The U.K. version of iBlueButton is expected to available by Fall 2013. Humetrix announced last week at HIMSS that iBlueButton now runs on Intel Atom-based Android phones. Humetrix CEO Bettina Experton said that this cooperation with Intel helps to pave the way for international use of the app.

Humetrix presenting at Health 2.0 San Francisco 2012