Bulgaria has begun an online electronic prescriptions project using a citizen-held e-health card. In its first online transaction, the Government is providing Bulgarian electronic health card (eCard) to access eHealthcare services beginning with e-Prescriptions.
Bulgaria's first eCard pilot includes seven physicians, four pharmacies and 1,000 patients who are testing the eCard's secure identification and authentication procedures, as well as the issuing and dispensing of electronic prescriptions. During the three month pilot, 1,000 patients are expected to use their eCard at both their GP and pharmacy. The eCard system introduces a secure communications infrastructure that can be later upgraded to enable access to and exchange of patient medical records, using personal health records. All data in the eCard project is transmitted through a special security device developed by e-health specialist InterComponentWare (ICW) and Cisco. The device, called the ICW box, encrypts all data before it is transmitted via a virtual private network. ICW is providing a developers kit for third party developers to enable their clinical and administrative software applications to be easily connected to the new eCard system.