Who is iPLATO/myGP and why are they well-placed to launch this feature?
iPLATO is a technology company, focused on innovations in healthcare. myGP is a healthcare management app developed by iPLATO, which allows any patient in England who is registered at a GP surgery to, among other things, view their medical records, order repeat prescriptions, and access complimentary healthcare services. myGP is NHS-assured and available to over 58 million patients registered at 97 percent of England’s GP services. myGP fully integrates with EMIS web and SystmOne primary care clinical systems to provide access to medical record data. We do this already for nearly two million users in England.
About the feature
What is the proposed myGP TICKet solution?
A simple way to display whether or not an individual is considered ‘protected’ against COVID-19 (once protected, a green ‘tick’ appears around the profile photo). It provides clear assurance that an individual is safe to return to work or play if he/she is required to vaccinate before doing so. Best of all, it needs no further technology/integration from a business/venue, as the results are displayed on the user’s own device.
How will the technology work?
The technology already works. myGP is NHS-assured for 97 percent of England’s GP surgeries, which means that it has been given third-party authorisation to access and display medical records and prescription information, and to allow patients to book appointments and access other health-related services. All information is contained within the GP clinical system and as such, it is GPs who must give patients access to those records for the myGP TICKet to be utilised.
Are there any dependencies or are you able to develop this initiative completely independently?
This technology is dependent upon vaccination data being entered into the immunisations section of the medical record. As a user will receive their TICKet 12 days following their second dose, and this information is accessed via the immunisations portion of the record. It is also dependent upon GP practices allowing patients access to the immunisations portion of their medical record.
What will the user journey look like?
The feature will be clearly signposted within the app and will also be available within the user’s profile.
How does iPLATO / myGP protect the medical record data of myGP users?
myGP provides a window into a patient’s medical record, showing a real-time snapshot of a patient’s current vaccination status, medications, and other information. All information is held within the GP clinical system and all access is controlled by the GP surgery. When a user closes the medical records portion of our app, the information is gone. Only the information relating to COVID-19 Vaccinations will be cached within the myGP app, so that the feature will remain available in the event of internet failure or other system outages. No other data is stored anywhere on our servers.
How will iPLATO / myGP ensure the ‘green tick’ isn’t misused by non-vaccinated people?
The Green Tick solution is presented in real-time, and there will be evidence of this in the app itself. We have a number of layers of protection against fraud, which will be discussed when we’re closer to launch.
What does the timeline look like for launch?
myGP users will be able to utilise the myGP TICKet functionality from April 2021. iOS rollout begins mid-April 2021; Android will follow 1 – 2 weeks after.
Has it been approved by The Government?
We have held NHS accreditation for EMIS Web and SystmOne clinical systems since 2019. We hold a ‘cyber essentials plus’ accreditation, so we have full authority to access medical record data on behalf of patients within our app.
Will employers ask to see the myGP TICKet?
We cannot comment on who will or will not choose to utilise this functionality, but it will be available as a free, secure means of verifying the protected status of any user from April 2021.
How much does the myGP TICKet cost users?
The myGP app is free to download. There is no cost to users.
Who will benefit most from using the myGP TICKet? Who is it aimed at?
Everyone benefits from using this. Businesses (particularly small business, and the arts and hospitality sectors) can get a kickstart; the public gets the mental health boost of a quicker return to ‘normal’; and the initiative itself will, we hope, provide a positive incentive for the public to get the vaccine.
How does iPLATO / myGP benefit commercially from the myGP TICKet initiative?
The primary commercial advantage to myGP from the solution is an increase in app users. Should any future technical/commercial integrations or upgrades, associated costs will never be transferred to the public. myGP will remain free to download from all available app stores.
Where is this available?
From April 2021, the myGP TICKet solution will be available in England, via Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
Will it be available in the rest of the UK at any stage?
The feature is only available in England for the foreseeable future.
Health and safety / industry issues
If all attendees at a given event have been vaccinated, how safe will they/their families be?
There is no such thing as a zero-risk situation: particularly with COVID-19, though recent data from the Oxford/Astra Zeneca clinical trials is incredibly encouraging. According to this data (still awaiting peer review), the AZ vaccine provides at least 67% protection from shedding the virus. Science, therefore, suggests that the other vaccines – which have a higher overall efficacy rate – should also demonstrate similar protection against transmission. However, by early March, the majority of vulnerable people in the UK will likely have been vaccinated, so the risk of spreading the virus to vulnerable populations is drastically reduced. And while broad vaccine uptake is paramount to achieving herd immunity, we have consulted a number of scientists and healthcare professionals and believe that this timeline reduces the risk of serious infection / death among vulnerable populations enough to justify the economic, mental health, and social wellbeing benefits that England will see as a result.
If we need 70 percent of people in the UK to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, how long do you envisage the myGP TICKet being used for?
We hope that COVID-19 vaccination uptake is high among the UK population, but the technology will be available for as long as it is needed. In addition, the technology behind this innovation can be used across many sectors, such as aviation or travel to prove vaccination status across all immunisations.
Will this increase demand on GPs to vaccinate more people who want to utilise the myGP TICKet?
Vaccinations are being administered by a combination of GPs, local pharmacies, and ‘vaccination centres’ We are not involved in coordinating how a vaccine is administered; only in allowing individuals to ‘prove’ that they have been protected from COVID-19, if evidence is required.
What impact will the myGP TICKet solution have on GPs’ workload?
Rather than GPs fielding constant requests for verification of an individual’s vaccination status, they can simply refer patients to the myGP app, where 97% of patients in England can readily show their myGP TICKet.
Which businesses can benefit from using myGP TICKet?
That is up to businesses to decide. We see this as particularly useful for hospitality, arts, entertainment, and fitness, but literally any business that is suffering as a result of social distancing measures can utilise this technology as a means of ensuring the safety of their patrons and safely encouraging customers back.
What do businesses need to do to use this technology to their benefit?
There is nothing specifically that businesses need to do to utilise the technology. It is free to download and free to use, though we will be offering some support to businesses who want to better understand the technology and how they can utilise it as safely as possible. See our web page for details on what support we can offer to businesses.
How can businesses sign up? Is there a cost?
There is no cost to businesses to utilise the myGP TICKet as a visual means of verifying vaccination status, in the same way there is no cost to users. Should businesses require additional services in relation to vaccination verification, they should contact the myGP TICKet team on myGPTICKet@mygp.com.
How many businesses do you envisage benefitting from the myGP TICKet?
Any business that wishes to re-open to capacity, no matter their size or industry. There is no limit to how many businesses can utilise the solution.
Will businesses who opt to use the myGP TICKet solution be discriminating against those who are not vaccinated?
Not at all. The purpose of this initiative is to allow businesses to open safely. And the best way to ensure the safety of all patrons is through a combination of testing and vaccination. All businesses will have the choice to utilise the technology, just as all individuals can choose whether or not to be vaccinated. We are simply providing a digital vaccine verification service for those who wish to use it.