Today’s been a busy day for Apple, with the company launching updates for iOS, tvOS, and watchOS, but it’s not quite done with the news.
Apple announced today that its stock Health app has seen quite a bit of a boost in terms of showing health data from providers, aiming to make it so that even if an Apple user crosses the United States, seeing a doctor at a clinic on one side and a health professional at a hospital on another, they ar covered. Now, thanks to the new Health Records section within the Health app, which debuted with iOS 11.3 to the public today, iOS users can access parts of their health record in over 100 hospitals and clinics across the United States.
“Starting today, patients of NYU Langone Health, Stanford Medicine and nearly 40 other health systems representing hundreds of hospitals and clinics can view their medical records right from their iPhone. The updated Health Records section within the Health app helps consumers see medical information from various institutions organized into one view and receive notifications when their data is updated. This information can help patients better understand their health history, have informed conversations with physicians and family members, and make future decisions. Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode.”
Medical records have had a tendency to be sectioned off per medical facility or health system, so this method of broadening the scope and availability is a good way to give patients a lot more control over their own health records. Collecting it all into a single app should be a nice bonus, too. It also makes it easier to make sure that information is correct, which is always a necessary step when dealing with health professionals that make recommendations based on those results and data.
Apple is going to continue to expand the functionality of its stock Health app, which is a good thing all around. Apple’s overall focus on its users’ health is a good thing in general, like with the Apple Watch, but only if the tools work the way they should, and are actually helpful to the user.