iOS update gives iPhone users access to medical records

Apple is pushing further into the digital health space with a new feature that lets users view their medical records on their iPhone.

Credit: Apple

The company debuted the feature with the latest beta update to iOS, which is set to officially launch this spring.

The Health app now features a Health Records section which customers can use to view their available medical records.

The feature is only available to customers at a limited number of medical institutions, though Apple states that more healthcare organisations will be included in the coming months.

Those using the feature will be able to access a holistic view of their medical records from across carious organisations. Whereas previously patients would have had to log into each organisation’s website, the Health Records section allows users to view information such as allergies, lab results, medications, in one place. More so, users will receive notifications if their information is updated at any point.

Apple has based the new section on FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) which is a standard from exchanging electronic medical records.

The data is encrypted and protected through the iPhone passcode and “’Apple doesn’t see the data unless the consumer chooses to share it,’ the company’s COO Jeff Williams said.
“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. By empowering customers to see their overall health, we hope to help consumers better understand their health and help them lead healthier lives.” Williams said.

“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, one of the participating hospitals. “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.”



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