Portugal pilots new use for h…

Portugal pilots new use for healthcare data exchange

Published on: 07/04/2017

Automates getting proof of fitness to obtain a driving permit

In March, the Portuguese Ministry of Health started a pilot to make it easier for citizens to get ‘proof of fitness’, a requirement to obtain and renew a driving permit. The ministry has extended its central healthcare data exchange to the county’s Institute for Mobility and Transport (IMT), responsible for the issuing of driving licences.

The PNB logo

The Health Ministry’s National Broker System (PNB) facilitates the exchange of healthcare data and improves workflow across organisation. It was developed in 2015, with one of the requirements that it should be easy to add connections to other systems, even international ones. The very first external connection from the PNB was to Portugal’s public administration interoperability platform (iAP), a comparable communication service.

The IMT pilot is the first that uses the iAP to allow the exchange of data between the IMT and the ministry.

The main objectives of the PNB broker system include:

  • Centralising and consolidating the transfer of data between healthcare organisations, ministries and countries;
  • Improving interoperability of healthcare data;
  • Facilitating the tracing and auditing of processes; and
  • Making it easy to add third parties’ systems.


The PNB is already used to exchange data between medical specialists researching chronic disease and allergies. It is also used for immunisation registration.

The PNB is based on reusable, publicly available software components. The system handles over 300,000 messages per day.

More information:

AMA announcement (in Portuguese)
About the Portuguese National Broker (in Portuguese)