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The company says that it has introduced a significant update to its Health app that enables users to see their medical records right on their iPhone. The new feature is part of the iOS 11.3 beta software update.

The Health app features an updated Health Records section that, says Apple, brings together hospitals, clinics, and the existing Health app to make it easy for consumers to see their available medical data from multiple providers whenever they choose. Among the participating hospitals and clinics making this beta feature available to their patients are Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai, Penn Medicine, and UC San Diego Health, among others.

This represents a change from how medical records have been traditionally stored and accessed, which requires patients to manually log in to multiple care provider websites to see their information. The new consumer-friendly approach, says Apple, is based on a collaboration with the healthcare community to create Health Records based on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) – a standard for securely transferring electronic medical records.

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Now, says Apple, consumers will have medical information from various institutions organized into one view covering allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures, and vitals. In addition, patients will receive notifications when their data – which is encrypted with the user’s iPhone passcode – is updated.

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“Our goal is to help consumers live a better day,” says Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO. “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. By empowering customers to see their overall health, we hope to help consumers better understand their health and help them lead healthier lives.”

The current iOS 11.3 version is expected to remain in beta for a couple of months, but should be available to all iPhone users shortly thereafter.

 

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