Although the e-healthcare smart card stores different information in each country, there are many commonalities. Most include personal identification information, so you do not have to repetitively fill out forms. They also contain your social or private healthcare benefits, and can be PIN protected so you have control over who can access your health information.
A smart health card uses technology that securely stores your personal health information.
A microprocessor chip is embedded into the card, making it a "smart" card. The security features inherent in smart card technology reduce or eliminate fraud, including medical identity theft. Some of the countries that are involved in initiatives utilizing smart health cards are Algeria, Austria, Australia, Belgium, France, Hungary, Italy Mexico, Slovenia, Spain, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom .
Smart cards remain secure no matter how long they are used. The computer inside a smart card can secure information stored inside, limit access only to authorized parties and encrypt (scramble) its communications with other devices.
If the smart card computer fails, the information stored in it remains safe because it can no longer be accessed. Smart cards are designed to work for years. Electronic passports for example, which include a secure contactless smart card inside, are issued for many years, sometimes 10 years or more.
Today, smart card technology is not just used in the shape of a card either. Sometimes it is inside something else, like a USB token, passport or cell phone. Smart cards have two different types of interfaces: contact and contactless.