- Nearly 40 health systems have partnered with Apple to contribute medical records to the tech company's updated Health Records section for the iPhone.
- The new records section — which is still in beta mode — was announced in January. It allows customers to view their medical records with the Health app. Twelve health systems, including heavy hitters like Geisinger, Johns Hopkins Medicine and MedStar Health, were name-dropped as partners at the time of the release.
- Apple has now made the feature available to anyone who updates their phone's iOS software to the latest version.
Personal health records have had a spotty history, with limited uptake, but the increase in health system adoption is a good early sign that Apple's PHR may stick.
Health Records is based on the interoperability standard FHIR and collects encrypted medical data on allergies, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures, vital signs and conditions. Users will receive notifications when their data are updated.
Google previously took a swing at a PHR product with Google Health, but the company bowed out in 2012, citing low adoption.
The work on FHIR to enable interoperability, coupled with the growing bid to promote patient engagement and satisfaction, has helped providers get on board with the product. The maturity of the EHR space has also broken down some of the competition barriers that sparked information blocking practices that treat patient data as propriety.
Cerner, Epic and athenahealth each confirmed participation in the Apple health records project in January.
“We’re seeing strong, early excitement from our client base tapping into the Apple Health Record," Jonathan Bush, athenahealth CEO, told Healthcare Dive via email. "The continued liberation of data in healthcare is imperative — we must move beyond the islands of automation to fully connect patients, providers, payers and the ecosystem at large, but this is one of the many ways we are seeing [a] true network effect take hold.”
That's only one piece of the puzzle. The question remains: If they build the product, will patients use it?
It's still too early to tell, but the relatively rapid adoption by large health systems is a good sign.
The following health systems are now linking medical records to Apple's Health app:
- Geisinger Health System
- Johns Hopkins Medicine
- LifeBridge Health
- MedStar Health
- NYU Langone Health
- Partners HealthCare
- Penn Medicine
- Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Inc.
- Valley Medical Group P.C.
- Yale New Haven Health and Yale Medicine
- Cerner Healthe Clinic
- Mosaic Life Care
- Nebraska Methodist Health System
- Rush University Medical Center
- Southwest General Health Center
- Truman Medical Centers
- The University of Chicago Medicine
- Adventist Health System
- BayCare Health System
- The Duke University Health System
- Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
- Mission Health
- Ochsner Health System
- Ortho Virginia
- TSAOG Orthopaedics
- UNC Health Care
- Vanderbilt University Medical Center
- WVU Medicine
- Dignity Health
- Eisenhower Health
- Providence St. Joseph Health
- Scripps Health
- Stanford Medicine
- UC Irvine Health
- UC San Diego Health