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Apple Wants a Bigger Bite of the Healthcare Fruit

Apple Apple Wants a Bigger Bite of the Healthcare Fruit
Apple announced new capabilities in Health Records that will allow patients see medical records on their iPhone from multiple providers.
The tech titan is expanding its presence in the healthcare market by putting medical records on iPhones and plans to seek FDA approval for an iWatch-connected heart app.

Apple is trying to bear more fruit in healthcare with iOS healthcare applications on the iPhone and the iWatch.

The company recently introduced a significant update to the Health app with the iOS 11.3 beta that allows customers to see their medical records on their iPhone. The updated Health Records section within the Health app is designed to bring together hospitals, clinics, and the existing Health app to allow users to see their medical data from multiple providers. At least 12 institutions have already agreed to make the feature available to their patients.

Apple said it worked with the healthcare community to take a consumer-friendly approach to creating Health Records based on FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), a standard for transferring electronic medical records.

The updated app allows iPhone users to view medical information from multiple providers in one view covering allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures, and vitals. Consumers will also receive notifications when their data is updated. Apple said the Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user's iPhone passcode.

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

Another way Apple is boosting its presence in healthcare is through the iWatch. The company is collecting data that will eventually be used to support an FDA submission for an iOS-based health app, according to a MobiHealthNews report. According to the report, study participants recently received prompts to sign informed consent documents that would allow Apple to begin collecting data it says "will be used for FDA submission" of the device. 

Last September, Apple partnered with American Well and Stanford University to study how well the Series 3 Apple Watch is able to detect heart arrhythmias.

TAGS: News
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