Apple has introduced what it says is a “significant update” to the Health app with the iOS 11.3 beta, debuting a feature for customers to see their medical records right on their iPhone.
The updated Health Records section within the Health app brings together hospitals, clinics and the existing Health app to make it easy for consumers to see their available medical data from multiple providers whenever they choose. Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai, Penn Medicine and other participating hospitals and clinics are among the first to make this beta feature available to their patients.
In the past, patients’ medical records were held in multiple locations, requiring patients to log into each care provider’s website and piece together the information manually. Apple COO Jeff Williams says Apple worked with the healthcare community to take a consumer-friendly approach, creating Health Records based on FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), a standard for transferring electronic medical records.
Now, consumers will have medical information from various institutions organized into one view covering allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals, and will receive notifications when their data is updated. Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode.
“Our goal is to help consumers live a better day. We’ve worked closely with the health community to create an experience everyone has wanted for years — to view medical records easily and securely right on your iPhone,” said Williams. “By empowering customers to see their overall health, we hope to help consumers better understand their health and help them lead healthier lives.”
“Streamlining information sharing between patients and their caregivers can go a long way towards making the patient experience a positive one,” said Stephanie Reel, Chief Information Officer at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “This is why we are excited about working with Apple to make accessing secure medical records from an iPhone as simple for a patient as checking email.”
“Putting the patient at the center of their care by enabling them to direct and control their own health records has been a focus for us at Cedars-Sinai for some time. We are thrilled to see Apple taking the lead in this space by enabling access for consumers to their medical information on their iPhones. Apple is uniquely positioned to help scale adoption because they have both a secure and trusted platform and have adopted the latest industry open standards at a time when the industry is well positioned to respond,” said Darren Dworkin, Chief Information Officer at Cedars-Sinai.
The new Health Records section is available to the patients of the following medical institutions as part of the iOS 11.3 beta. In the coming months, more medical facilities will connect to Health Records offering their patients access to this feature. Further information for health institutions is available here (https://www.apple.com/healthcare/).