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Digital Age, Meet Personal Medical Records

 

Traditionally, gaining access to your medical records has meant trudging down to your doctor’s office, explaining to the front staff why you need the documents, and then sitting in a germ-filled waiting room while someone makes copies of your important paperwork.

Thanks to Apple, consumers will now have access to their electronic health records on their newest models of smartphones. To learn more about this exciting news and how it will work, check out the following points:

The iOS 11.3 Release Will Change the Way We Access Our Health Information

Thanks to the Health app in iOS 11.3, which is a new beta feature, it will be easier than ever for you to see and securely store your health records. If you see more than one physician, you can also gain access to your information from each office, which will give you a better overall picture of your health and test results.

The iOS 11 release is designed for the latest smartphones like the iPhone 8. Thanks to its 4.7 inch retina HD display with True Tone and the A11 Bionic super fast chip, you will be able to quickly download your records and see them clearly on the large screen.

How the App Will Work

iPhone users will start the process of accessing personal health data by opening the iPhone health app and going to the health record section and then the newly-added health provider tool. From there, you will connect to Apple’s software system and the data will download onto your phone. Right now, Apple has contracts with about a dozen hospitals across the country including Johns Hopkins Medicine and Cedars-Sinai.

Once you have the app set up, you will be notified when new information becomes available. So if you are waiting for the results of your mammogram or your blood work, your latest iPhone model will automatically get the info and let you know. The available medical information will include lab results, allergies, health conditions, immunization records and vitals.

To keep this sensitive information from (literally) falling into the wrong hands if your smartphone is stolen, your health data will be encrypted and protected with your iPhone passcode. To make it as easy as possible to see the information on their smartphone, Apple is also currently working with electronic medical record companies like AthenaHealth and Cerner.

Use Apps to Take Care of Your Health at Home

In addition to accessing your own healthcare information on your smartphone, iOS apps can help encourage patients to stay connected to their health care teams and manage their health. Your doctor’s office can use a program like CareKit to create apps that will allow you to better manage your health, and you can also download and use a number of apps to monitor and record your own health data which you can then share with your physicians.

For example, if your doctor has expressed concern about your blood pressure, you can download the free Blood Pressure Monitor app from iTunes and transform your phone into a blood pressure and weight monitor. You can report statistics, include data on things like medication, and export the data from your phone to your doctor.

Apple is On the Right Track

For too long, getting access to your own health care records has been a tedious process. Thanks to the iOS 11.3 release, Apple definitely seems ready and able to put the power of health care records back in the hands of the consumer. It will be interesting to see how more health offices team up with Apple and allow patients to access their personal data.

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Published Thursday, April 12, 2018 7:35 AM by David Marshall
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