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A new website that provides a platform to enable people to take more responsibility for their health has been launched in Moray, Scotland.
The new Health-e-Space website, which went live earlier this month, provides local health information, links to recommended websites and suggestions on how to live with health conditions.
Community Health-e-Space, the websites sister site supplies a social networking platform for people to share their health concerns and experiences with others in the Moray area.
Professor Cummings, co-founder of the website and a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology at Dr Gray’s hospital in Elgin, said that the drive behind empowering people to take greater responsibility for their health was spurred on following recent research.
He told E-Health Insider: “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 site which allows anybody to register also has several elements where patients can interact with NHS professionals, such as ‘visit the clinic’ which provides detailed information on conditions and a section where clinicians can blog about specialist subjects.
Cummings added: “In many ways it’s like Facebook or Bebo for health, so you might ask why don’t we set up these networks on the sites that are already there, well you’re not always going to want people you know to see what health issues you’re writing about.”
The initial costs of the site set-up were around £4,000 and development of the site is being completed as a partnership involving the NHS Grampian, Moray Health and Social Care Partnership, Moray College, Moray Council and others.
Cummings said that he did not see the site as a competitor to HealthSpace, the English NHS site being rolled out alongside the Summary Care Record to allow patients to access elements of their patient record.
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 site will provide a patient 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.”