Aston University will be teaching its pharmacy students how to use a patient controlled online medical records system.

The UK-based med tech firm, Patients Know Best (PKB), will have its software introduced to second year pharmacy students by October.

The company announce this month that it will be used at Aston’s School of Life and Health Sciences to teach approximately 170 undergraduates how to conduct online diagnosis, work with other health care professionals and interact with patients virtually.

Fiona Lacey, senior teaching fellow at Aston’s pharmacy practice group, said that online patient care would be increasingly important part of future care.

“This is such an opportunity to get all of our students aware of it, using it and actually learning how to communicate online.”

The students will get the chance to interact with virtual patients through PKB, and reflect on their response, Lacey said.

In 2018, Aston will open its medical school and PKB will also be on the curriculum for the first intake of 100 undergraduate medical students.

Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, chief executive of PKB, said most doctors “think online consultations are unsafe and inefficient”.

“But what they are really saying is, no one has taught me in medical school how to do it efficiently and safely.”

PKB provides software free of charge to medical schools, Al-Ubaydli added. This allows students to practice consulting skills online and experience situations such as when the patient knows more about their condition than the doctor, he said.

The University of Leicester was the first medical school in the UK to put PKB on their syllabus in October 2013.

PKB is used in 30 hospital trusts. The system is translated into 19 languages and operates in more than 90 sites across the world.