Bulgaria has begun deploying smart cards to provide secure access to the electronic health records of military personnel and their family.

The project is being led by KIM-2000, a Bulgarian firm specialising in eHealth projects, which has sub-contracted to smart card specialist Gemalto to provide readers and smart cards and software

The PHR project has been commissioned by Bulgaria’s Military Medical Academy to improve health records availability, access and security.

The patient and the healthcare professional simultaneously insert their own card into the double-entry Gemalto reader and type in their PIN code to enable viewing or modifying of the medical file, which is stored on a highly secure IT infrastructure.

The patient can also view their personal data online, using the Gemalto reader and card to authenticate themselves.

The electronic health record provided is a complete electronic archive of the patient’s medical history. Data stored includes all existing medical documentation, including: laboratory tests and results, X-ray pictures, all visual tests, and electronic prescriptions.

In addition, the record also contains the patient’s blood group, allergies and genetic predisposition to diseases, health check ups, surgical interventions and all useful medical information.

The personal electronic health record enables healthcare professionals to immediately access a patient’s medical data and therefore, make more accurate decisions, especially in emergency situations, for which there is a special section in the electronic health record, containing the most important relevant information.

Ari Bouzbib, senior vice president identity and government programs at Gemalto, said: “Through this initiative, Gemalto’s digital security technology proves to be a key enabler to next-generation eHealth programs. These are intended to deliver optimized treatment for each patient with utmost security, while protecting the privacy of personal data."