Apple Health Records is a new initative to give users access to their own medical records on their devices and let developers create new apps and improved experiences for patients, and it is building up a head of steam before official launch.
Dr Ricky Bloomfield, head of Apple’s Clinical and Health Informatics team spoke at the ONC’s 2nd Interoperability Forum recently and gave details of how the service would work and what it would offer patients and providers.
Firstly he revealed that the open data-sharing standard they are using called Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) won’t be ready until the end of 2018 but will make it easy to users to store, view and share their data.
Complete control over data
“You as a user have complete control over who has access to the data,” said Bloomfield. “If you don’t want to share it, it won’t be shared. It stays private on your device until you decide to share it.”
As of this month, the iOS Health Records feature is supported by 80 different health systems which have hundreds of hospitals and clinics all over America. When any of them create or add to a patients record, it will automatically be added to their device.
App users will be able to view data and graphics and see details of the users allergies, immunization recrod, medications, procedures and vital signs. The data is fully encrypted and has to be authenticated by a passcode.
Security and ease-of-use
Health information is a growing field for Apple and Android users and this breakthrough if successful could drive future app development in the field is the data can be harnessed and used correctly and securely.
Apple is betting that users will back their security and ease-of-use features and sign up to the service to make their lives easier when visiting health professionals. We’ll know more when the FHIR standard launches fully at the end of the year.