Amid the declining health of its former CEO and co-founder, Steve Jobs, Apple embarked on a mission to revolutionize digital health for the next-generation of patients and practitioners.
Jobs, who was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in 2003 and passed away in October 2011, was the catalyst prompting Apple to not only launch its iOS Health App — a staple feature of 2014’s iOS 8 software update — but also 2015’s Apple Watch — a distinctively health-centric and even life-saving wearable geared towards fitness-minded consumers.
While the company has routinely updated its iOS Health App with new features and capabilities, it wasn’t until earlier this year that Apple unveiled its boldest and most comprehensive Health Records initiative — the principal goal of which is to allow iOS users to access, view, and share their detailed medical histories from the comfort and convenience of their mobile phone.
“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,” Apple’s COO, Jeff Williams, said when the Health records initiative was announced alongside iOS 11.3.
In order for this time-, headache-, and potentially life-saving feature to work, however, hospitals and medical centers are required to digitize and share their data with Apple. Fortunately, according to the latest hospital enrollment data, the company’s new initiative appears to moving ahead full-speed..
According to Apple’s most up-to-date “Institutions that support health records on iPhone (beta)” landing page, the number of hospitals, medical institutions and private practices signed onto the iPhone-maker’s program has skyrocketed up to 78 as of August 2, 2018.
“A growing list of healthcare institutions support health records on iPhone, enabling you to view important data such as immunizations, lab results, medications, and vitals directly in the Health app,” Apple says on its website, adding that “We’re working with more hospitals and clinics to support health records.”
Among the laundry list of current participants include..
- Adventist Health System
- The University of Chicago Health
- The Cleveland Clinic
- Duke Health
- Providence Health and Services
- Kaiser Permanente
- ..and over 70 others, nationwide..
Click here to view the full list of regional health groups, universities, hospitals and practitioners currently enrolled in Apple’s Health records initiative and to view additional details specific to registering your device for beta enrollment.
To add your health records from any of the participating healthcare providers in Apple’s program, grab your iPhone running iOS 11.3 or later
- From the Home screen, open Apple’s iOS Health App.
- Tap the Health Data tab in the bottom menu bar.
- Tap Health Records.
- Tap Get Started.
- Scroll through the list of hospital and network providers and then tap to select yours when you see it. Remember, your provider might not yet be available.
- Once prompted, sign in to your healthcare provider’s website or app. (NOTE: you may be asked to save your password for future log-ins.)
Your records should then begin to update, however it may take a few moments for the information to appear onscreen. Apple notes on its website that once a user is connected with their medical provider, the Health app automatically updates your records periodically, as new entries are submitted by your provider.
Should an issue arise with regards to the accuracy or availability of your latest health records, Apple recommends contacting your provider directly.
To view your up-to-date Health records on iPhone:
- Open the Health app.
- Tap the Health Data tab.
- Tap on Health Records.
- Select the category you’d like to view.
- Then select an item to view additional information about it.
Apple’s Health app relies on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) technology, which represents the standard in transferring electronic medical records directly between hospitals, practitioners, and the patient’s iPhone. As such, none of the information contained in these records ever passes through Apple’s servers.
While the Health Records feature is currently still in beta, we should know more about the status and any broader availability of it when Apple introduces its new iPhone models this fall.