The Patient Portal, which was created more than a decade ago, is set to receive a major update in design and content. While people have only been able to look at their medical data so far, they will be allowed to present information about their health readings such as blood pressure or blood sugar ahead of a doctor's visit.
Until the coronavirus crisis, most people likely only used the Patient Portal to fill out a health declaration to extend their driver's license, but the pandemic took the number of users to new heights.
"The coronavirus has actually pointed out that people use the Patient Portal much more, they give much more feedback, await new functions and do not just want to use it to view documents," Patient Portal development manager Pille Kink told ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Wednesday.
"The portal of the future will be something much more than just a place to view data, it will become an information sharing channel for everyone's health, healthy lifestyles and treatment guidelines," she added.
Going forward, there will be an option to forward health statements so that doctor's can prepare for patient visits. Doctor visits tend to last some 20 minutes and family physician Reet Laidoja said a recent study in Estonia showed that a doctor takes an average of 11 minutes to gather information and do so-called detective work.
"If there is a chronically ill patient - blood pressure problems, sugar problems- it would be great if they would do a little homework and measure their blood pressure, their blood sugar," Laidoja said.
The physician said people come to the doctor with several worries and leave with a so much information they cannot remember all of it. An improved Patient Portal would give doctors the option of writing up treatment guidelines so that patients could access them easily.
"The goal would be for us to be able to forward the data, but also that the data would have substance. I believe no family physicians are interested in me sending them how many steps I have taken every day, but they would like to see what has changed in a month," Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) associate professor Peeter Ross said.
Ross said an agreement system also needs to be created to upgrade the Patient Portal, giving people more decision-making power over using their data. "If the person's desired medication is not currently in the Health Insurance Fund's list, but the pharmaceutical company is interested in handing out the medication in the framework of a study, we would also be able to find out," Ross added.
The portal will be updated by August 2023.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste