Apple will soon let vets check health records on their iPhones

The iPhone maker and US Department of Veterans Affairs have partnered to offer an easier way to access health records on the go.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
2 min read

Apple's health efforts just scored another major partnership.

The Cupertino tech giant said Monday it's partnered with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to offer patients access to their health records using an iPhone. The new feature, which Apple said will be available in the summer, will include allergy information, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals, among other things. 

The information will be gleaned from across 1,243 facilities, serving 9 million veterans.

"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, in a statement. Apple said it's the first health record sharing agreement with the VA of its kind. "It's truly an honor to contribute to the improved healthcare of America's heroes."

The agreement marks the latest in Apple's efforts to make health records more easily available on its devices. Last June, the company said it's partnered with more than 500 hospitals to access information. And last fall, Apple made it easier for outside app developers to more easily share that information. 

Apple's suggested this information not only helps users stay informed, but also could help tailor apps like medication tracking, nutrition planning and medical research.

Apple had been rumored to be in talks with the VA as far back as 2017, with developments heating up late last year, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The VA at the time was excited by the prospect of vets more easily moving their data back and forth between various doctors and their software platforms, the Journal said.

The VA didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it's in discussion with any other app or phone makers to make medical records even more widely available to non-iPhone users.

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