Medical records tend to be kept in a variety of doctor's offices, both digitally and on paper. It can be a mess.
Apple thinks it has a solution, saying Wednesday it will introduce a new Health Records feature in its next iOS update this spring. Health Records, which will be available to patients at a dozen medical providers to start, will pull together a patient's allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals, and the patient will receive notifications when his or her data is updated.
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The new feature builds on Apple's push to provide more health data to people through its devices, including step-counting on the iPhone and heart rate tracking on the Apple Watch.
Health Records data will be encrypted and protected with the user's iPhone passcode, Apple said.
The new health features will be part of a broader iOS update, which includes augmented reality enhancements and battery controls for iPhones.
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The new Health Records section will be available to patients of these medical institutions as part of an early beta release of iOS 11.3, with more medical facilities expected to join in the coming months:
- Johns Hopkins Medicine - Baltimore, Maryland
- Cedars-Sinai - Los Angeles, California
- Penn Medicine - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Geisinger Health System - Danville, Pennsylvania
- UC San Diego Health - San Diego, California
- UNC Health Care - Chapel Hill, North Carolina
- Rush University Medical Center - Chicago, Illinois
- Dignity Health - Arizona, California and Nevada
- Ochsner Health System - Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
- MedStar Health - Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia
- OhioHealth - Columbus, Ohio
- Cerner Healthe Clinic - Kansas City, Missouri