Apple Teams with VA to Give Vets Access to Health Records
Apple and the Veterans Affairs Department announced a partnership that will let veterans access their medical records on their iPhones. American veterans receiving care through the Veterans Health Administration will be able to securely view their aggregated health records directly in the Health app on their iPhone, according to Apple.
Veterans will see an aggregated view of their allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals in the Health app. Health Records on iPhone also brings together hospitals and clinics outside VA with the existing Apple Health app, according to a VA statement. Veterans can see their available medical data from multiple providers, including the VA, whenever they choose.
“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 says in a statement. “It’s truly an honor to contribute to the improved healthcare of America’s heroes.”
The new capability, which the Wall Street Journal first hinted at in November, has been made possible through the recently announced Veterans Health application programming interface (Veterans Health API). The API allows veterans to access their health records within innovative mobile apps or in their web browser.
“Our Health API represents the next stage in the evolution of VA’s patient data access capability,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie says in a statement. “By building upon the Veterans Health API, we’re raising the bar in collaborating with private sector organizations to create and deploy innovative digital products for Veterans. Veterans should be able to access their health data at any time, and I’m proud of how far we’ve come to accomplishing this.”
How will these health records be secured? All Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID.
The VA is the largest medical system in the United States, providing service to more than 9 million veterans across 1,243 facilities. Veterans with iPhones will soon be able to access the app on their device. After a visit to a VA healthcare facility, the participating veteran’s iPhone will automatically receive updated health record information within 24 hours from the visit using the built-in Health app. Looking beyond the effort with Apple, the VA says it “looks forward to partnering with others to bring similar capabilities to other mobile platforms.”