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March 30, 2018  Source: MedCityNews 156

Two months after rolling out a pilot of its Health Record tool as part of an update to its operating system, Apple has come out of the pilot and launched the feature. In addition to the 12 healthcare organizations that took part in the pilot and have now integrated the feature into their patient portal, 27 more health systems and companies have enlisted in the Health Record program.

“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,” Apple’s news announcement said.

Patients can access their record through a code for their iPhone. The idea is to help patients better understand their medical history, improve the quality of interactions with their physicians and family members, and make more informed decisions about their care.

To illustrate how different institutions are using the Health Records component, Apple highlighted the experience of NYU Langone Chief Medical Information Officer Dr. Paul Testa and Dr. Robert Harrington, cardiologist and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Stanford.

Testa described Health Records as “an incredible first step to being able to have the patient take possession of their own information.”

Testa has also developed a program around Apple Watch in which 35 doctors can request notifications for vital lab results so that they see the results and can respond quickly. The program also gives them a way to track their patients from arrival to discharge.

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

Here are some of the health systems that are integrating Apple’s Health Record feature:

  • Adventist Health System
  • BayCare Health System
  • Cerner Healthe Clinic
  • LifeBridge Health
  • MedStar Health
  • Cedars-Sinai
  • Dignity Health
  • The Duke University Health System
  • Eisenhower Health
  • Geisinger Health System
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • NYU Langone Health
  • Ochsner Health System
  • OhioHealth
  • Providence St. Joseph Health
  • Partners HealthCare
  • Penn Medicine
  • Rush University Medical Center
  • Scripps Health
  • Stanford Medicine
  • The University of Chicago Medicine
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Inc.
  • UC Irvine Health
  • UC San Diego Health
  • Yale New Haven Health and Yale Medicine

In addition to Cerner, EHR vendors athenahealth and Epic have also adopted the Health Records feature.

 

The hope is that Apple’s program to improve access to personal health records will fare better than previous attempts by Google and Microsoft. PHR access has also been a priority for smaller companies such as PHR Plus. It also comes at a time when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has rolled out a series of initiatives including a reboot of the Blue Button program so that Medicare patients can more easily share health data with providers.

By Ddu
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