Apple and the VA Partner to Put Digital Health Records Directly Into the Hands of Veterans

Published: March 22, 2019

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More than 9 million veterans will soon be able to easily and securely access their health records on their iPhone, thanks to a new partnership between Apple and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Last month, Apple and the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs announced they are partnering to make the Health Records feature on iPhone available to veterans. For the first time, veterans receiving care through the Veterans Health Administration will be able to securely view their aggregated health records directly in the Health app on their iPhone.

“We have great admiration for veterans, and we’re proud to bring a solution like Health Records on iPhone to the veteran community,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “It’s truly an honor to contribute to the improved healthcare of America’s heroes.”

Starting this summer, the Health app will be able to sync with certain types of medical records that, up to this point, have only been available through My HealtheVet, the VA’s online web portal. Veterans will be able to access their records for allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures, and vital signs. These will be displayed alongside other information, like Apple Watch data, giving veterans a more comprehensive view of their health data and medical history. Veterans’ medical information will be secured through encryption and protected by the iPhone user’s passcode, Touch ID or Face ID.

Health Records on iPhone will be the first record-sharing platform of its kind available to the VA, which is the largest medical system in the U.S. The partnership is a big win for Apple, as the tech giant will now be able to reach the more than 9 million veterans currently enrolled in the VA system. It also represents another success by the company in terms of getting healthcare institutions to support its Health Records feature on iPhones. Today, that list includes a growing number of hospitals and clinics across the U.S. In the Washington metropolitan area, the two major participants are MedStar Health and Johns Hopkins.

It is no secret that Apple is eager to become a key player in the market for healthcare, and partnering with a major federal agency brings the tech giant one step closer to its goal. It also raises questions about what the company will do next to influence the world of health information technology.

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune