Putting patients in control of their health info

Apple announced Monday that will This kind of’s working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to bring health records to the iPhone.

that will means that will vets receiving their care through the VA will be able to see medical information like allergies, immunizations, labs in addition to procedures directly on their iPhones with just a few clicks.

“By bringing Health Records on iPhone to VA patients, we desire veterans will experience improved upon healthcare that will will enhance their lives,” said Apple’s COO, Jeff Williams, in a statement.

Apple already works with dozens of hospitals that will are integrated with its Health Records software, so their patients can access clinical information. nevertheless the VA, which represents 9 million people, is usually a big step forward for the company, as This kind of’s the largest medical system inside the country.

This kind of’s also a big deal for people who aren’t veterans.

Industry experts say that will Apple is usually taking advantage of a bigger movement to force medical records companies in addition to insurers to open up access to health information, which is usually supported by the government in addition to different academic groups. Also This kind of week, the Department of Health in addition to Human Services shared its much-anticipated rules that will are designed to prevent information blocking.

“The barriers are coming down,” said Kenneth Mandl, a director of computational health informatics at Boston Children’s Hospital in addition to a longtime advocate of the “App Store for health” concept.

“in addition to Apple is usually a first mover in taking advantage of these brand-new laws in addition to regulations,” he said.

The earliest beneficiaries will be early adopters of Apple’s health records software, who can use This kind of to get their data through participating health systems, as well as veterans in addition to patients enrolled in Medicare.

nevertheless Mandl believes This kind of’s only a matter of time before commercial insurers in addition to various other groups follow suit.

As This kind of trend continues, anyone having a smartphone will someday be able to see their clinical record (what happened when they got treated at a hospital or clinic), in addition to their claims history (what got billed). that will unified data set will also open up a lot of opportunities for health app developers that will can generate important brand-new insights.

This kind of’s also not bad for patients, he said, as they can present everything to a doctor rather than having to be subjected to duplicate tests in addition to procedures.

Mandl in addition to others have already put decades of work toward producing This kind of a reality for patients, many of whom still must request records through every hospital or clinic they’ve visited. There’s been a big trend toward open standards, as well as to reduce the crazy fees some electronic medical records providers charge to give third-party access to This kind of data.

“Until currently, the data systems that will patients in addition to doctors rely on for their care have been composed of many different companies’ products run by many different hospitals without an overarching strategy for how they talk to each various other, as well as various other software systems,” said Mandl.

nevertheless these rules promote a “universal approach for connecting apps to health systems, the same way you might connect an app to your smartphone.”

WATCH:
Cramer on what Apple should do if This kind of doesn’t buy Epic Systems