Apple has announced that it will soon support accessing digital health records for veterans through the Health app on iPhone. The development is part of a new agreement with the US Department of Veterans.
“We have great admiration for veterans, and we’re proud to bring a solution like Health Records on iPhone to the veteran community,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “It’s truly an honor to contribute to the improved healthcare of America’s heroes.”
Health record-sharing supports easily and securely viewing official “immunizations, lab results, medications, and vitals” from your healthcare provider all in one place on the iPhone. Apple says health records are secured through encryption and accessible only with a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID (fingerprint or facial recognition).
Apple made the announcement in a Newsroom press release today:
With Health Records on iPhone, veterans across the US will be able to see medical information from participating institutions — including the VA — organized into one view all in the Health app. Health records data includes allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals, and is displayed along with other information in the Health app like Apple Watch data. This means VA patients will get a single, integrated snapshot of their health profile whenever they want quickly and privately.
Health records on iPhone will mark the first digital health record-sharing project that the VA has accepted, according to the announcement, with 9 million veterans eligible for viewing digital health records on iPhone.
Apple’s Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch who both work on health and Apple Watch-related efforts at Apple had this to say:
“When patients have better access to their health information, they have more productive conversations with their physicians,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO. “By bringing Health Records on iPhone to VA patients, we hope veterans will experience improved healthcare that will enhance their lives.”“Our goal is to empower people to better understand and improve their health, enabling them to view their medical information from multiple providers in one place easily and securely,” said Kevin Lynch, Apple’s vice president of Technology. “We’re excited to bring this feature to veterans across the US.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was in talks with the VA last fall in an effort to make digital health records more accessible for veterans.
Digital health records are accessible with permission through Apple’s built-in Health app on iPhone. Apple started supporting the simple health record-sharing feature with iOS 12. Health record-sharing already works with a huge number of health providers across the United States in addition to the VA. You can view the full list of health providers that support health records in Apple’s Health app here.