Are physicians ready for Apple's new health records-sharing initiative?

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Apple has created avenues for patients to share their self-generated health data with providers, but it's unclear how much data providers are actually reviewing, Kaiser Health News reported Aug. 12.

Apple's iOS 15 software update, scheduled to come out this fall, will give users the ability to share their health data with physicians and family members. The company also added new features to its Health Records app, giving users the choice to share health data with their physicians. At participating healthcare organizations, physicians can review the Apple Health app data that patients choose to share directly in the EHR system. 

Apple said patients whose physicians work with one of the six EHRs participating in the new feature (Cerner, Allscripts, Meditech Expanse, Athenahealth, DrChrono and CPSI) will be able to send them data on self-tracked health indicators, such as heart rate, sleep hours, exercise minutes and menstrual cycle history.

But some industry experts are unsure if this initiative will bring positive effects to healthcare delivery. 

Patient-generated data is not often used in healthcare, as the evidence is unclear on whether monitoring such data can improve patients' health, and physicians aren't usually reimbursed for reviewing it. Additionally, many physicians say they already feel overwhelmed by the amount of patient data and EHR tasks they're facing.

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