Apple adds medical records feature to iPhone

(Photo: Apple)

(WTNH) — Apple is diving in to health care with a release of a new feature to allow iPhone users to more easily access all of their medical records. The mission behind this move was outlined by Apple’s COO, Jeff Williams: “By empowering customers to see their overall health, we hope to help consumers better understand their health and help them lead healthier lives.”

With the iOS 11.3 software beta update, the Health app – shown with the little heart icon which is a default app on the iPhone – will now allow users access to medical data from providers. This app currently tracks activity like steps taken each day, emergency contacts and self-populated or information pulled in from various connected health apps.

Using the standard for transferring electronic medical records called FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), Apple worked with the healthcare community to aggregate a consumer-friendly way to access personal medical information. The data shows immunization records, lab results, medications, allergies, procedures and other conditions accessible from the patient’s own phone.

Health care privacy is an issue the company has addressed saying, “Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode”

So far, only twelve medical facilities have signed on. In the coming months, more facilities will be able to connect.

  • Johns Hopkins Medicine – Baltimore, Maryland
  • Cedars-Sinai – Los Angeles, California
  • Penn Medicine – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Geisinger Health System – Danville, Pennsylvania
  • UC San Diego Health – San Diego, California
  • UNC Health Care – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Rush University Medical Center – Chicago, Illinois
  • Dignity Health – Arizona, California and Nevada
  • Ochsner Health System – Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
  • MedStar Health –  Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia
  • OhioHealth – Columbus, Ohio
  • Cerner Healthe Clinic – Kansas City, Missouri

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