South Korea enables access to 113 personal health data via My HealthWay

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South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare is officially launching My HealthWay, a national platform serving as a “health information highway” for individuals’ personal health records. 

Based on a press statement, the platform aggregates a person’s health information from various sources, providing a single view of those data. It also allows individuals to store and enable the transfer of their health data with their consent.

WHY IT MATTERS

Previously, patients could only access some of their health information, including vaccination history, health checkup, treatment records, and medical history, which are all held by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, National Health Insurance Corporation, and Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service. 

Through the launch of the Health Information Highway, they can now access 113 items of health information, including surgery reports and pathology test results that are held in different health facilities, viewing them at a glance without having to search each item individually. 

THE LARGER CONTEXT

The expanded access was made possible by connecting data held by around 860 medical facilities, including tertiary hospitals. An additional 12.2 billion won ($9 million) was set aside for this data linkage in the 2024 Health Information Highway budget. More hospitals and clinics will be connected to MyHealthWay by the end of September, the MOHW said.

The launch of My HealthWay, a project under the Digital Platform Government initiative, came off a successful pilot involving 245 health facilities from August 2022 to February 2023. Nearly a thousand participants were also asked to test the system. 

Based on a follow-up survey, most respondents believed that the platform is helpful when moving across health facilities; in managing their own health; and in managing the health of their loved ones. Almost nine in 10 also expressed their intention to use the platform in the future. 

Meanwhile, the National Information Resources Service under the Ministry of the Interior and Safety is working on a system to beef up the security of PHRs to prevent instances of hacking and leaks. 

ON THE RECORD

In a statement, Jeong Eun-young, director of MOHW’s Health Industry Policy Division, said the launch of MyHealthWay will empower South Korean’s right to their health information. “We hope that it will become a platform that is actually helpful in practising an active healthy lifestyle,” he added.

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