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Apple Opens iPhone EHR Feature to U.S. Healthcare Organizations

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 17 Jul 2019
Apple will allow any healthcare organization with a compatible electronic health record (EHR) to register with its mobile Health Records feature, which will allow users to securely and privately download their data to a personal health record (PHR) on their iPhone.

Compatible EHRs are based on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), a standards framework for exchanging clinical data over the Internet. There are currently about 300 healthcare organizations, labs, and clinics (with over 6,500 locations across the United States) that have registered in the Apple Health Records directory in the Health app. The EHRs that Apple currently supports include Epic, Cerner, athenahealth, and CPSI, which are capable of plugging into the PHR app. Patients can download their EHR after presenting their credentials to the practice or a hospital patient portal.

Image: Apple PHR organizes Medical records into a clear, easy to understand timeline view (Photo courtesy of Apple).
Image: Apple PHR organizes Medical records into a clear, easy to understand timeline view (Photo courtesy of Apple).

Under a proposed rule from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC; Washington, DC, USA), certified EHRs will have to include FHIR application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow patients to access their medical records.

Because FHIR allows semantic interoperability, information from multiple providers can flow into the appropriate categories in the Apple PHR. Thus a patient should be able to view all of their medications, problems, lab results, procedures, vitals, and immunizations from different providers in one place.

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

“Putting the patient at the center 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 Darren Dworkin, Chief Information Officer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles, CA, USA). “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.”

Related Links:
Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT


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