New capabilities in Health Records help patients see medical records from multiple providers.
In an important step forward in the consumerization of healthcare, this week Apple introduced an update to its Health app, in iOS 11.3 preview, which allows individuals to access medical records on their iPhone.
Based on the FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard, the company’s new Health Records API allows patient data from over 500 hospitals and clinics, including Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai, and Penn Medicine, to be available through the Health app interface.
The move gives patients greater access and agency with personal health information by allowing individuals to share data from their health record with third party applications. The announcement noted that data shared is transferred directly from HealthKit to third party applications without touching Apple’s servers. This represents a move towards breaking down the traditional silos of medical record systems between which interoperability and data sharing has been an ongoing challenge.
“Medical information may be the most important personal information to a consumer, and offering access to Health Records was the first step in empowering them. Now, with the potential of Health Records information paired with HealthKit data, patients are on the path to receiving a holistic view of their health,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer. “With the Health Records API open to our incredible community of developers and researchers, consumers can personalize their health needs with the apps they use every day.”
Examples of personalized use cases highlighted in the announcement include medication tracking, disease management, and nutrition planning, as well as medical research which benefits from new data sharing opportunities between the Health Records API and ResearchKit. In a more specific example of the first use case, Apple also announced that medication management app Medisafe will connect with Health Records to allow prescription importing without manual entry.
Managing Your Health Records Should Be As Easy As Managing Your Money in Slate
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