Apple has introduced a new electronic health record (EHR) feature in their Health app with the iOS 11.3 beta software update.

According to Apple, the new Health Records section “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.”

Health Records allows patients to view all of their medical information from various healthcare institutions in one platform. For example, patients will be able to view allergies, conditions, immunisations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals, and also receive notifications when their data is updated.

Health Records is based on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), a standard for transferring electronic medical records, and the data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode.

“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 Apple’s COO, Jeff Williams.

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

To test the beta Health Records feature, Apple has teamed up with 12 US hospitals and clinics, including Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai and Penn Medicine. More medical facilities are expected to offer Health Records to their patients in the coming months.

“Streamlining information sharing between patients and their caregivers can go a long way towards making the patient experience a positive one,” said CIO at Johns Hopkins Medicine, Stephanie Reel.

“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,” continued Reel.

“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,” said CIO at Cedars-Sinai, Darren Dworkin.

“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,” concluded Dworkin.

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