Apple update brings interoperability to the Health app

Apple has announced a new update for the Health app with the iOS 11.3 beta, which allows users to access medical records from various healthcare organizations through their iPhone.

The updated Health Records section within the Health app on iPhones will now contain patients’ medical records held from different healthcare organizations. Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai and Penn Medicine are currently some of the organizations participating in the update of the app.

“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 Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO. “By empowering customers to see their overall health, we hope to help consumers better understand their health and help them lead healthier lives.”

This type of interoperability between online health records is meant to engage patients in their care by offering an easy view of their medical state from a single device. Currently, users are able to access information regarding allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals. Data is encrypted and protected by each iPhone’s password and users are notified when information become updated.

“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.