Chelsea and Westminster Hospital are working on a pilot study so that, “for the first time, patients can have control over their treatment and their records.”

Flexiant is a cloud service provider, giving cloud integration work for free; and Edinburgh Napier University has also been working with the Hospital to show how a private cloud can be used to share confidential patient data with GPs and consultants.

The plan is for an e-health platform to replace the current paper-based system.

The National Health Service (NHS) has always had a big challenge when it comes to data sharing – different hospitals have different databases and different standards.

Bill Buchanan, a professor at Edinburgh Napier University, explained how the new service oriented architecture (SOA) system at Chelsea and Westminster, would work.

“Our system allows for data to be stored with its context, such as where it was captured, and then used in whatever way is necessary through well-managed clinical services.”

By using the core data, clinical services are provided and accessed through iPhone, Android and web browsers. Only patient data is available through the services.

“Hosting the data in the cloud as soon as results are published means that the patient can go online and access them, sharing them in real time with everyone who needs to see them,” explained Lucas.

Lucas believes such access will be “enormously empowering,” for each individual, and, equally, have massive implications for patient treatment across the UK.

On paper, it’s a good plan, but will the cloud live up to expectations?