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Carelines - Holding your Medical Details

2020-02-11

Many people worry about having their medical or personal details held by a careline. There are a few ways of making sure your details are secure and held to a proper standard.

Questions to ask the service

1. Is all my information held within the European Economic Area (EEA)?


Your information should be held within the EEA and never transferred overseas. If this is not the case then they may be breaking the law. This is important as other countries may have questionable data protection laws.

2. Is all the software you use built in the UK?

This is not a legal requirement but tells you a lot about the quality of the firm you are dealing with. Software built overseas, especially in China and India can be of low quality. This means it can be more likely to have security flaws or leak your information back to these countries. By investing in UK built software, a company shows they care about quality and security. Personal Alarm Watch builds all it’s software from scratch in the UK so we can guarantee the quality of our work.

3. Do you have a second emergency call centre for disaster recovery and will my data be held there?

Without a second call centre with data backups, if there was a fire at the centre, calls could not be answered. When the building is evacuated your data would not be accessible. This is something every service should have set up in order to offer a safe call handling service.

How to Check an Online Service's Security

If you enter any of your details into a website you should always check whether it is secure.

The best way to know whether a website is secure is to look in the URL bar at the top. There should be a padlock shown. If you click on the padlock it will tell you that the certificate is valid and the website is secure. This will look different depending on which internet browser you use. An example is shown in the picture below.

A Personal Alarm Watch website showing it is secure

If there is not a padlock someone could be spying on your details and you should not use the website.

Entering your medical details

A good rule of thumb are to only give the careline service the details that it actually needs. Giving information that would be useful to a paramedic is important but there is no need for a full medical history. Listing your serious allergies, if you are on blood thinners like Warfarin and other examples like this could help a paramedic save your life.

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