Apple's iOS 'Health Records' Feature Now Works With 75+ Providers

Apple's Health Records feature, introduced in iOS 11.3, now allows iOS users to access their medical records from more than 75 different hospitals and medical providers in the United States.

Apple maintains a list of all of the healthcare institutions that support Health Records on the iPhone, which as VentureBeat points out, was updated in August ahead of a talk from Apple's Clinical and Health Informatics lead Ricky Bloomfield, M.D. given at the ONC 2nd Interoperability Forum (via EHR Intelligence).


When the Health Records feature first launched earlier this year, it worked with just 12 healthcare providers, a number that Apple has been working to improve. Recent additions include Kaiser in Oregon and Washington, Baptist Health, Buffalo Health, Greater Hudson Valley Health System, UC San Diego Health, UCLA Health, and others.

Health record data is available in the Health app, and allows patients who have multiple healthcare providers to access all of their information in one convenient place.

According to Bloomfield, Apple's Health app leverages Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) that were developed to facilitate better data sharing standards. FHIR is in a draft stage and won't be finalized until the end of the year, but Apple's adoption may drive widespread adoption of FHIR in the medical community.

Apple is using an "Argonaut" implementation of the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard, in fact, because it's simple and will encourage medical providers to adopt it.

The Health Records feature in the Health app is designed to connect with partner systems using FHIR to collect data and display it right on a user's device.

"It makes it very easy for you to manage your health information," Bloomfield told attendees of the ONC 2nd Interoperability Forum on August 8. "You as a user have complete control over who has access to the data. If you don't want to share it, it won't be shared. It stays private on your device until you decide to share it."

As Bloomfield explains, Health Records can be accessed in the Health app under the "Health Data" section. After choosing and authenticating with a provider, all relevant medical data is available through the Health app and is updated automatically following doctor visits.

"That significantly reduces the friction typically associated with accessing your health information where you need to remember your credentials, log in, and then get the information," he continued. "And when you have new information, you may get an email that there's new information, but you still need to log in to access the information."

Health Records is designed to display information that includes allergies, vital signs, conditions, immunizations, medications, labs, and procedures.

As with all Apple features, privacy is a key with Health Records. As Bloomfield says, patients have control over who is able to access their data.

Top Rated Comments

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29 months ago
If they add NHS, that’s the whole of the United Kingdom covered
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

Apple will need to do is make the code for this free and create a kit that is cross platform and universal.

Apple is basically implementing an existing standard from an international health organization. This is largely a function of standardized, structured data, not some special sauce. Other companies and medical institutions are free to do the same.

From the information mentioned in the article, FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) is a spec by HL7 (Health Level Seven), a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited standards developing organization. Argonaut focuses on subset of the FHIR spec through core API and data services.

Health Level Seven | http://www.hl7.org/
FHIR Specification | https://www.hl7.org/fhir/overview.html
Argonaut Project | http://argonautwiki.hl7.org/index.php?title=Main_Page
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

This is all fine and good... until your healthcare provider shares all of the detailed information about your previously unknown chronic illness to your insurance company. You might have control over who you share it with, but once it's "out there"... you have no control over it. Crooked insurance companies (and they ALL are crooked) will see this information as a potential gold mine and seek to obtain it any way they can once they know it's available.

HIPAA laws expressly forbids the sharing of patient records with insurance companies without a ROI from the patient. I have been in the pharmaceutical/healthcare industry for over 10 years. And from my experience... no healthcare provider would risk their practice/medical license doing that.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

You do realize your “insurance provider” already has this information from your physician. They pay the bill, and they call the shots.

No, they do not. They can see which drugs you're buying (since they pay a share), they can see you've been visiting a doctor, and they may request a doctor's report (such as to confirm that a costly treatment is advisable), but they don't have a full picture. They can only guess and extrapolate what kind of treatment you're getting. They don't get lab results, and they don't listen in on conversations you have with your doctor (nor do they get regular reports on them).

They know exactly what is going on with your health,

That's a stretch.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
This is all fine and good... until your healthcare provider shares all of the detailed information about your previously unknown chronic illness to your insurance company. You might have control over who you share it with, but once it's "out there"... you have no control over it. Crooked insurance companies (and they ALL are crooked) will see this information as a potential gold mine and seek to obtain it any way they can once they know it's available.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

This is all fine and good... until your healthcare provider shares all of the detailed information about your previously unknown chronic illness to your insurance company. You might have control over who you share it with, but once it's "out there"... you have no control over it. Crooked insurance companies (and they ALL are crooked) will see this information as a potential gold mine and seek to obtain it any way they can once they know it's available.

As someone who works for one of these "crooked" companies, if you have a chronic illness, that's going to be hard to hide, if it's hidden at all. We might not have all the details, but we know which drugs you're taking, how often you visit the doctor, which services we're being billed for, what surgeries you're having, etc. That's like saying "You can't guess which coin is in my hand, but I can tell you it's not a penny, dime, quarter, half-dollar or whole-dollar". We don't just get a bill that says "you owe us $80,000 for 'none of your damn business'" and pay it. That's absurd. We also have staff that help those with Chronic Diseases. If you have diabetes for example, we will discover that (it will be shared with us legally) and you're likely to have someone contact you in an attempt to help you better manage your disease (all free of charge). Sure, that helps bring our costs down. But it's also a fantastic benefit for those who accept it.

Your theory that ALL insurance companies are crooked and out to screw you however we can is a complete joke with absolutely no evidence to back that up.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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