I'm setting off to New Zealand in December, and have had a few concerns about medical consultations abroad. I've been recommended to research a plastic health card, which is the size of a credit card to take along. It's supposed to store all your medical details, so incase anything happens, doctors anywhere in the world can access your medical history. Can anyone help me? Have anyone heard anything about such innovation?
I know of three such cards:
MyHealth Alert USB Card
Walletex USB MediCard
HealthONE USB Smart Card
I have not used a health smart card nor know of anyone who has. They are integrated into many of the European health care systems (Germany, France, UK among a few others) plus the US and Canada. But, outside of these areas, it depends on the health care system and their software. Personally, I would think New Zealand's health care system would have the readers (or software) integrated so they could access your information. I do not know if that is fact or not. Hopefully, someone from NZ will be able to answer that portion of your inquiry.
The cards themselves are not cheap - ranging in the $100+ USD range. Whether that includes encryption - again not sure. I recommend speaking with your health care provider about the use of a smart card. They shoud also be able to answer some of your questions.
Thank you!! That is actually what I've been looking for, I've checked out the sites, but unfortunatelly none of these are based in the UK, it wouldn't be compatible with our NHS medical system
Any other suggestions welcome
I think what you're looking for is called "HealtheCard", it's based in the UK. I don't own one, but the concept is very interesting. It's a recent thing and the card stores all your medical records. So if you're home or away you'll have all your medical documentation on hand.
But yes, I also recommend speaking to your GP and finding out wheather they actually can accomodate "HealtheCard" system or will do in the near future.
This is their website - http://www.healthecard.co.uk/
Hope this helps.