Grab for patient records

MEDICAL market research firm AsteRx plans a grab for doctors’ prescribing records with an offer of powerful business intelligence software free to GPs who sign up.

AsteRx managing director Jon Marshall says de-identified patient data provides valuable insight into healthcare trends — including the spread of infectious diseases — for which drug companies, pharmacists and others are prepared to pay.

“We essentially want to build a large network of GPs so that we can provide data that can be called on in times of need,” he said. “If we were extracting data from every GP in Australia, we would be able to track the swine flu, for instance.

“From the data we already collect I can tell you whether there has been an increase in immunisations, or increased incidences of flu, right up to yesterday’s figures.”