Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Hospitals back Apple patient records update

Steve Rogerson
January 30, 2018



Twelve hospitals in the USA will let patients see their health records on their iPhones using an update Apple has made to its Health app with the iOS 11.3 beta release.
 
The updated health records section within the Health app brings together hospitals, clinics and the existing Health app to make it easy for consumers to see their available medical data from multiple providers whenever they choose.
 
“Our goal is to help consumers live a better day,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO. “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.”
 
In the past, patients’ medical records were held in multiple locations, requiring patients to log into each care provider’s web site and piece together the information manually. Apple worked with the healthcare community to take a consumer-friendly approach, creating health records based on the FHIR fast healthcare interoperability resources standard for transferring electronic medical records.
 
Now, consumers will have medical information from various institutions organised into one view covering allergies, conditions, immunisations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals, and will receive notifications when their data are updated. The health records data are encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode.
 
The first twelve hospitals to make this beta feature available to their patients are: 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, DC, Maryland and Virginia; OhioHealth, Columbus, Ohio; and Cerner Healthe Clinic, Kansas City, Missouri.
 
“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. “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.”
 
Darren Dworkin, chief information officer at Cedars-Sinai, added: “Putting the patient at the centre 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.”
 
Apple says in the coming months more medical facilities will connect to health records offering their patients access to this feature.