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Kanta PHR supports self-monitoring of wellbeing

Blog Written on 08.02.2019 All blogs

Citizens can monitor their own health and wellbeing with the My Kanta Pages Personal Health Record (Kanta PHR). The data will also be useful in the healthcare services in the future.

Many people monitor their own wellbeing with various devices and applications either of their own accord or at the doctor's recommendation. Popular devices include activity wristbands and heart rate monitors, which are easy to use for monitoring personal activity and health on a daily basis. A doctor may also have requested to keep a record of, say, blood pressure readings, or a nutritionist may have asked to note down diet-related information.

By monitoring your own wellbeing data, you can see for yourself where there is room for improvement and aim to prevent illnesses.

Citizens’ own health monitoring was introduced as part of the Kanta Services last year when the first stage of the Kanta PHR was launched. Kanta PHR is a place where citizens can record their own health and wellbeing data and a wide variety of information using wellbeing applications approved by the Kanta Services. The Kanta PHR can be accessed via My Kanta Pages.

“Kanta PHR maintained by Kela is a safe place to record various information concerning your own state of health. The service is used with different wellbeing applications for recording your personal measurement data, for example, blood pressure, blood glucose or heart rate,” says Kanta PHR’s product owner Pirjo Vuorikallas.

If you are using several different applications, you can collect the recorded data in one place in the Kanta PHR and be able to browse data collected over a longer period. That way you can see how your wellbeing improves over time.

Self-measurement of data in support of wellbeing

The Kanta PHR is primarily intended only to support citizens’ own wellbeing. By monitoring your own wellbeing data, you can see for yourself where there is room for improvement and aim to prevent illnesses. However, in the future it will be possible to give a permission to share personal data with social welfare and healthcare professionals via My Kanta Pages, in which case the data can be utilised in support of service provision and treatment, if necessary.

“The Client Data Act is undergoing parliamentary review, awaiting approval. After that, citizens can give professionals their consent to view the wellbeing data they have recorded themselves in the Kanta PHR. For example, people with diabetes can record their blood glucose readings, weight data or details about their diet and use the service to share this information with their doctor,” Vuorikallas explains.

Once the legislation has been adopted and the healthcare professionals have the necessary applications, it will be possible to use the Kanta PHR and wellbeing applications to manage many different small matters, for which it has previously been necessary to visit the health centre. That way, a wide range of monitoring data can be shared electronically, and it will no longer be necessary to provide, e.g. your blood pressure readings in person.

How can I start using Kanta PHR?

Currently all citizens using My Kanta Pages can record their data in the Kanta PHR for their own use. In the first stage, data can be recorded with the Terveyskylä Omapolku application. In order to use the service, you need to set up the application and connect it to the Kanta PHR. You will also need an activity meter and the related application. For the time being, Fitbit, Polar and Withings devices are in use. 

“More applications will be introduced soon, for example, the national pilot application Omaolo in spring 2019. The idea is that any application supplier can have their application approved to be connected to the Kanta PHR. The application suppliers are subject to strict acceptance criteria, e.g. due to information security and data protection issues, and the information security of the service platform of the Kanta PHR has also been audited. However, every application has its own terms of use which, of course, should be borne in mind.”

The data collected from the applications is viewed in the Wellbeing Data section in My Kanta Pages. Next spring, it will also be possible for citizens to manually record data on blood glucose, blood pressure and body weight in the Kanta PHR. The purpose of this is to enable recording of certain personal data without wellbeing applications.

“The data recorded in the Kanta PHR is always the citizen’s personal data, i.e. it is not subject to Kela’s controllership. In My Kanta Pages, citizens can enter and delete their information themselves whenever they wish and edit any consents they have given. Once the Client Data Act enters into force, the social welfare and healthcare professionals will be able to view the data only with the citizen’s authorisation,” Vuorikallas points out.

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