The winners of Summer Schools Hack Day 2019 demonstrated how a patient could have access to their medical record using Amazon Alexa.

Hear My Record, pitched by Kev Haymer, digital strategist and programme manager for University Hospitals Southampton (UHS), and Matt Beedle, My Medical Record product manager at UHS, allows patients to manage their own healthcare from checking lab results to booking appointments.

Dr Michael Barry, emergency medicine doctor and CCIO for Medic Bleep and Sophie Ottaway from Equal Experts also formed part of the team.

There are more than 20,000 patients using the My Medical Record platform at UHS. The team wanted to build on that to make records easier to access using digital technology.

Kev and his team originally had the idea a few years ago, they told the audience in Leeds, but shelved it after only one patient in a group of 80 at a yearly workshop said they owned an Alexa.

But, following the NHS and Alexa partnership announced earlier this month, they decided it was a good time to take the idea to Hack Day.

Giving a demo of the tool, Dr Barry asked his Alexa to check his new blood test results.

He was met with rapturous laughter when he asked Alexa to book him a GP appointment and she said there were “none available” and to “try Babylon Health”.

“A key part of all of this is conversational design, which is a branch of user experience that recognises the inherent complexity of controlling technology with human speech,” Michael said.

“That’s the reason I got involved with the project with this team, as it’s something that I’ve been researching and working on.

“Breaking it down, you have to think about all the different ways a user might ask for something.”

To test the product works, Kev, Michael and Matt spent the first day of Hack Day brainstorming the different ways a patient may ask Alexa questions. They then spent the second half asking Hack Day participants to ask Alexa a question to see how the interactions would go.

“If we choose to do more of this, we have to go back and chat to our patients again,” Kev added.

“Then we need to test it with a small group of patients to see how useful it is.”

Other entries included FIFY Journey Planning, a 3D immersive experience that allows patients to view the inside of a hospital before an appointment in a bid to cut down ‘did not attends’; Dispensing Error Reduction Tool (DERTi), which explored how to use AI to scan medicine boxes to reduce pharmacy errors; and Hearth Health, a platform that allows patients to prepare for consultations, including a template for discussion points with their clinician.

Hack Day was run over 17 and 18 of July at Leeds University and will be back at Digital Health Summer Schools 2020 in Birmingham.