Isosec launches first Virtual Smartcard to support NHS authentication


Cloud-based technology enables clinicians to access information from almost any device

Isosec has announced the launch of the first Virtual Smartcard for NHS trusts and clinicians.

Virtual Smartcard is already in use at the Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and is now available to all NHS organisations.

It is the latest of a series of innovations from the company and virtualises the physical NHS smartcard into the cloud, allowing NHS clinicians to access their clinical workspace using, not only their desktop, but almost any device while maintaining the required levels of security.

Virtual Smartcard works with all NHS Smartcards, HR cards and RFID tags and it can also authenticate using biometrics (fingerprint) on devices that are enabled.

Isosec’s Virtual Smartcard leverages the strength of the existing RA process and eliminates any inefficiencies. Known as eGIF Level 3, it mandates a strong identity check of the person requesting a smartcard.

“Isosec and the Virtual Smartcard has solved a huge problem for us and actually directly impacted our patient care,” said Tom Davidson, ICT director at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

“We’re getting nurses turning up, getting what they need to access the system straight away, getting the right training at the right time in the right place so they can get on with delivering the care that they need to deliver.”

The innovation addresses a multitude of inefficiencies the NHS is currently facing from managing physical smartcards.

Issuing physical cards takes a long time and requires specialist printers for production. Common issues and inefficiencies around issuing physical cards arise when recruiting agency staff and cohorts of new doctors. Clinicians and staff have to travel around the trust to register for cards, so Virtual Smartcard is a big time saving for them.

Virtual Smartcards can be reset using a self-service portal to avoid the lengthy re-registration process. And, as the technology is held in the cloud, there is nothing to physically lose, share or leave in a reader. This improves compliance and information governance to eliminate common unsafe workaround tactics that have emerged as a result of the inefficient physical cards.

“The Isosec Virtual Smartcard is a game changer for the NHS,” said Marc Poulaud, chief technology officer and founder of Isosec.

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“By improving clinical experience, patient care gets better and better. Virtual Smartcard just works without being cumbersome to clinicians.”