Apple rolls out iPhone health records feature to veterans

Veterans across the U.S. will soon have the option to access their medical data through the iPhone's Health app, thanks to a new partnership between Apple and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Under the deal, the more than 9 million veterans who receive care through the Veterans Health Administration will be able to view aggregated medical information from participating providers on their iPhone. The VA's 1,243 facilities will join more than 100 hospitals and clinics that are already live on Apple's health records feature.

"We have great admiration for veterans, and we're proud to bring a solution like health records on iPhone to the veteran community," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a news release.

The iPhone maker launched its health records project in early 2018 with a vision to integrate patient health data — such as allergies, immunizations and lab results — from various providers into one central location: the iPhone's Health app. Apple kicked off the program at 12 hospitals, including leading providers like Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger and Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine, in January of that year.

"When patients have better access to their health information, they have more productive conversations with their physicians," Apple COO Jeff Williams said in a news release. "By bringing health records on iPhone to VA patients, we hope veterans will experience improved healthcare that will enhance their lives."

In November 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that the VA was in talks to develop "special software tools" that would put veterans' health data on the iPhone. At the time, this project was rumored to be independent from Apple's existing health records project.

More articles on EHRs and interoperability:
Cerner revenue rose 4% in 2018: 5 things to know
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Tenet extends contract with Cerner

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