A device that allows GPs to take clinical images and safely share them with specialist colleagues has been compared to Snapchat.

PhotoSAF Sharing, which has been launched by healthcare solutions provider Consultant Connect, has been designed to give doctors the ability to take high quality images and share them quickly with specialists.

Consultant Connect’s medical director and Oxford GP, Dr David Griffiths, likened the technology to Snapchat, as the photos are deleted after the clinician has seen it.

He added: “For me, personally, this way is quicker and you don’t have the laborious task of running around to find equipment and then having to upload it onto a computer system.

“Another big benefit is the fact that the photos are not stored on a device and are deleted almost immediately.”

Photos can only be taken if the GP has obtained consent from the patient.

The aim of the technology, according to Consultant Connect, is for patients to receive expert opinions without risk to their personal data.

Jonathan Patrick, Consultant Connect CEO, said: “We have developed this service to help clinicians to concentrate more on patient care and less on the paperwork.

“It’s so easy to use that images can be taken and shared whilst the patient is still with the doctor. It takes less than a minute from beginning to end and allows the receiving clinician to decide whether a patient needs a hospital appointment or whether their care can be kept in the community.

Consultant Connect claims its technology overcomes the risk of data theft and unauthorised access to patient data by only allowing images to be stored on its secure cloud-based system –  no photos or data is stored on the device itself.

Patrick added: “Taking clinical photos has become a minefield in recent years. At the same time as legislation to protect patient data has been tightened we have seen an increased use of mobile phone cameras by clinicians.

“We have solved all the security, information governance and GDPR issues. It makes it unbelievably easy to get advice and guidance.

“The biggest benefit to patients is that they‘ll get the right treatment faster and a lot of the time avoid waiting for a hospital appointment.”

Consultant Connect offers a number of clinical solution to healthcare providers.

In November 2017, Digital Health News reported that the company was hoping to ease winter pressures on the NHS through a phone line allowing GPs to get expert advice immediately.