by Edward C. Baig
Active members of the military and those who’ve left the service who receive care through Veteran Health Administration hospitals will be able to view all their personal medical data through the Health Records feature on their iPhones. Apple and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs made the announcement on Monday.
Starting this summer, vets will be able to view an integrated snapshot of records from such providers pertaining to allergies, immunizations, vitals, test results, medications, procedures, conditions, and so on. The data is encrypted.
Following a visit to a VA health care facility, the participating vet’s Apple device will automatically receive updated health record information within 24 hours.
The Health app on the iPhone isn’t new, nor is the Health Records feature within the app where the data will be stored. It was updated last year to make it simpler for patients to chase down records from disparate medical providers, and keep them in one convenient repository. The feature is still technically in beta.
Among the growing list of more than 200 providers in the program are institutions such as Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Stanford Health Care in Palo Alto, Calif., NYU Langone Health in New York, and Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp are also participants.
The latest announcement brings the VA hospitals into the fold.
To add health data from the VA, vets will sign in with their military credentials inside the Health app, just as people seeking records from other medical providers sign in with the credentials used to access the various institution’s respective patient portals. An Apple ID is never used. For the image, go to https://i.prcdn.co/img?regionguid=5e92ba8e-6292-490f-95a4-7218770b28dc&scale=400&file=11522019021200000000001001®ionKey=SgY9Vfk4bb29YqnbaYNK5Q%3d%3d
The VA indicated a willingness to partner with other companies to bring similar capabilities to other mobile platforms.