Cancer patients to update doctors on condition through WhatsApp-style service

The instant messaging system will also benefit those with dementia or mobility problems.

The initiative was uncovered in a report into how technology can make the NHS more efficient.

Tory Alan Mak, who wrote the paper, said doctors and nurses use too many different computer systems.

He called for a more secure messaging service accessed by phone or tablet.

Trials, using the medCrowd system founded by Dr Felix Jackson, will kick off in the South East within weeks.

He said: “It’s essential patients with serious conditions are able to tell their doctors and nurses of any changes to their condition in real-time so they can alter treatment if necessary.

“The aim is to help patients stay as well as possible, and avoid needing emergency treatment in hospitals.”

 

Mr Mak added: “One system should be in place to allow effective and secure digital communication not only between primary healthcare and hospitals but between doctors and nurses treating patients.”

He added: “Fax machines, pagers and paper records must become a thing of the past.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “We should all be committed to ensuring the NHS is ready to seize the advantages of a digital age.” The report will be launched on Tuesday.

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