Apple to Participate in Meeting Advocating for Better Patient Access to Health Info

Representatives for Apple and Microsoft will be participating in a meeting with the Carin Alliance that's focused on making it easier for patients to access and share their medical information, reports CNBC.

The meeting will focus on efforts to push a rule change proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services that would promote medical data interoperability.


Ricky Bloomfield, a member of Apple's health team who formerly served as Duke University's Director of Mobile Strategy, will participate in the meeting by phone, according to a list of attendees published today [PDF].

Those who are in support of the change want to modernize patient access to data, as it continues to be common for medical facilities to provide health records via CD or Fax, which makes it difficult for people to switch providers and healthcare systems. From a PDF describing talking points for the meeting:

It's imperative to note how important and time sensitive aggregated health information across multiple provider and health plan systems can be for patients going through catastrophic events. This information is essential for patients as they consider options such as treatment planning, consenting to surgical procedures, exploring and enrolling in clinical trials, and matters of continuity of care, examples including expediting an urgent second opinion, appealing insurance denials for standard of care treatments prescribed by patient's board-certified physicians, as well as having all pertinent information when it comes to advance care planning, palliative care, and matters of end of life. Data access is a matter of patient safety, better outcomes, improved costs, and often life or death.

Apple has been working to make health data more accessible for patients with its Health Records feature that is designed to allow iOS users to access their medical records from participating hospitals and medical providers. Apple has partnered with hundreds of providers in the United States, allowing iPhone users to sync their medical data to the iOS Health app.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
10 months ago
Done safely, this would be a complete positive for patients and many providers. Transferring health data between providers is challenging — with some good reason, given the sensitive information involved — but can absolutely be improved.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
10 months ago
The proposed rules basically opens up your medical records to be shared indefinitely. This isn't a move to "improve sharing" or "empower patients". It's a move to force health care providers to provide Silicon Valley and any company that just so happens to make an app access to your patient data so that they can profit off it or face massive fines.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
10 months ago


I'm assuming if you put all your medical records on your iPhone that you can opt out syncing it to the iCloud since Apple revealed that they will not encrypt your data on the cloud but will provide it to requesting law enforcement.
Next step will be for employers or insurance companies is to force Apple to release medical data stored on a person's icloud account in order to decline employment or insurance due to medical data on their iPhone devices.
Some employers required social media access of their accounts before employment.

Health data is encrypted on the device, Apple has zero access to it, and any encryption key that they have would not access it
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
10 months ago
A tip from Apple:

Set up your Medical ID in the Health app on your iPhone (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207021)

This is information you want to have available to medical workers in an emergency.

One of the fields is Blood Type, but don't worry if you don't know your blood type. You'll almost surely be tested before getting a transfusion anyway. But you could ask what blood type you are the next time you get a blood test, and fill it in later.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
10 months ago


That‘s not how it works. It’s still encrypted on iCloud, but Apple has the keys to decrypt it when it is required by a court order. Neither Apple nor any commercial third party knows what is backed up. if insurance companies really wanted the data this is one of the much harder ways of getting it.

This is not necessarily true. For users with iOS 12 and two-factor authentication enabled ('https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202303#health'), all Health data is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be accessed by Apple even with valid legal process. If two-factor authentication is not enabled, then it’s encrypted at rest, just like all other iCloud data (except emails), but Apple has the keys to decrypt it.


I'm assuming if you put all your medical records on your iPhone that you can opt out syncing it to the iCloud since Apple revealed that they will not encrypt your data on the cloud but will provide it to requesting law enforcement.

For many users (see above), this isn’t the case for Health data. You can opt out, though.


Health data is encrypted on the device, Apple has zero access to it, and any encryption key that they have would not access it

Not necessarily true (see above).
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
10 months ago
I am not trusting Apple with ANY medical records! Pics, okay, yeah. I have been married longer than digital cock pics have been a thing so I am good, but I am not sharing too much medical info with Apple. To each their own though.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

'A New iOS Update is Now Available' Popping Up Repeatedly in iOS 14 Beta [Fixed: New Beta Available]

Thursday October 29, 2020 6:11 pm PDT by
Many users running iOS 14 beta are reporting that they are seeing a dialog box pop up repeatedly asking them to update from the latest iOS 14 beta. Threads in our forums, Reddit, and Twitter are reporting the issue. The dialog has been appearing for a few days now, but as of tonight has started appearing more frequently, every time an iPhone is unlocked. There's been further discussion in...

First iPhone 12 Mini Hands-On Video Surfaces [Update: Video Pulled]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max aren't set to be available until November 13, but a Romanian YouTuber got his hands on the iPhone 12 mini and showed it off today, offering a size comparison between the iPhone 12 and the 12 mini along with going over some of the device's features. The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12 in design and functionality, but it has a...

Apple One is Now Available: Save Money by Bundling Apple Music, iCloud Storage, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and More

Friday October 30, 2020 7:47 am PDT by
Apple One bundles are now available in the United States and over 100 other countries, allowing customers to subscribe to multiple Apple services through a single plan, including Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud, and more. To sign up for Apple One on an iPhone: Open Settings App Tap on Your Name at the top Tap on Subscriptions Tap on Apple One The prompt for Apple One...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'More Exciting Things' in Store For This Year

Thursday October 29, 2020 2:20 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2020 (third calendar quarter), Cook said that while he doesn't want to give too much away, "this year has a few more exciting things in store." Cook is likely speaking about the Apple Silicon Macs, as Apple has previously said the first Apple Silicon Mac will be coming before the end of 2020. There are rumors of a third fall event ...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Apple Releases First macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today seeded a new macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta replacing the existing macOS Big Sur 11 beta 10 update that was released two weeks ago. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in...

Apple One Service Bundles Set to Launch Tomorrow, Fitness+ Coming This Quarter

Thursday October 29, 2020 1:39 pm PDT by
Apple in September announced Apple One, a new series of services bundles that will let Apple device customers purchase several services together in one package instead of separately, saving money for those who use multiple Apple service products. Ahead of Apple's earnings call, Apple CFO Luca Maestri told Bloomberg that Apple One is set to launch on Friday, October 30. Apple One Bundle...

PSA: Apple One Premier Bundle Only Available in US, UK, Canada, and Australia

Friday October 30, 2020 2:39 am PDT by
Apple's new Apple One series of services bundles launches on Friday in over 100 countries and regions, but the top Premier tier will be limited to the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. The limited rollout of the $29.95 Premier tier is down to the fact that Apple News+ is currently only available in the above countries. Apple News+ is exclusive to the Premier tier,...