Date
24 February 2018
Apple, led by CEO Tim Cook, has announced some initiatives related to personal medical records and their accessibility. Photos: Reuters, Apple
Apple, led by CEO Tim Cook, has announced some initiatives related to personal medical records and their accessibility. Photos: Reuters, Apple

Apple to bring medical records to iPhone

Apple is enlarging the scope of its health app in a bid to allow users to store and access their personal medical records and related information on their mobile devices.    

The US tech giant announced on Wednesday that a “Health Records” feature will be available after a planned update to its operating system for iPhones and iPads in the spring.

The new feature will import and store medical information covering allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals, offering easy access to the users.

“We view the future as consumers owning their own health data,” Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams said in an interview with CNBC.

Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, and some other hospitals and medical-record vendors are among the first to make this beta feature available to their patients.

The new feature aims to “make it easy for consumers to see their available medical data from multiple providers whenever they choose,” Apple said in a statement.

User’s medical information from various institutions can be organized into one view, and accessed via the Health App in Apple devices.

People will also be able to add a health provider on their phone and import their records directly from the provider to the device.

Apple said the system would be the same it uses for corporate email, allowing information to go from a corporate server directly to the phone without Apple ever seeing it, WSJ reports.

Also, users will be able to back up their health records to iCloud.

Apple said it has no plans to monetize Health Records, and that it designed the feature to create a better health experience for users, according to WSJ.

The company is said to have secured participation from Epic Systems and Cerner, two of the largest US medical records providers.

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