Apple Takes Record Sharing To The Next Level

Consumers demand access to their medical information, and Apple has answered the call. In January, Apple released an update to the Health app, enabling customers of 12 hospitals and clinics to see their medical records right on their iPhone. Months later, Apple now allows patients from over 500 hospitals and clinics to share their records. The demand from patients to be informed consumers is enabling traction in an industry that moves at a glacial pace.

This week, Apple took it to the next level. During its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple announced that starting this fall, customers will be able to share their medical information with third-party applications.

What It Means: Providers Gain Improved Visibility Into Their Patients’ Total Health

There is direct business value to healthcare organizations. The industry is shifting to value-based care but continues to be hindered by challenges in interoperability. To effectively drive improved outcomes and lower costs, providers must have more than a snapshot of the patient’s health. Apple enables customers to share data that impacts their health but is not traditionally part of the record, such as diet, exercise, sleep, and medication compliance. Providers can finally start to understand what is happening to their patient after they leave their office. This can help drive improved outcomes for the patient and creates a better experience for the patient, provider, and extended care team.

The announcement has been met with a healthy mix of excitement and concern. While Apple claims no plans to store any data, the receiving applications may not be HIPAA-compliant. Enter concerns on data security. Consumers and the industry stand to gain significant benefit from this development, but proceed with eyes wide open.

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