Doctors may be using SnapChat to send patient scans to each other, according to a new report which criticises the NHS for letting the digital revolution pass it by.
Medics are performing their own “technical fixes” which could also include using camera apps to record patient details.
This is an “insecure, risky and non-auditable way of operating”, the report’s authors said.
Meanwhile, in 2017, the NHS is still the world’s largest purchaser of fax machines, they added.
The report was commissioned to examine the dealings that DeepMind Health, which is owned by Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has with the NHS.
A project between DeepMind and the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust has recently come under fire.
On Monday, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) ruled that the NHS Trust “failed” to comply with data protection law when it provided data on 1.6 million patients to DeepMind.
The files were shared as part of a test for an app that can alert doctors to patients who are at risk from kidney injuries.
Last year DeepMind commissioned a panel of independent experts to look into its work with the NHS.
In their first annual report, the experts highlighted a number of concerns but also commended DeepMind for many elements of its pioneering work.