Apple Reveals Plans to Put Health Records on the iPhone
Apple wants to build a comprehensive database for every iPhone user that can be accessed for doctors visits, lab results, medications, and more. Apple is said to have a “secretive team” within its health unit that has been communicating with developers, hospitals, and other industry groups about storing clinical data on the iPhone. With all of their medical data at their fingertips, iPhone users would have a better overall picture of their health, which could also be readily shared with doctors.
The aforementioned team has been hiring developers familiar with the protocols surrounding the transfer of electronic health records as well as negotiating with assorted health IT industry groups. One group that’s apparently been contacted, the “Argonaut Project”, promotes the adoption of open standards for health information, and “The Carin Alliance,” a group aiming to give patients more control over their medical data. It’s been noted that Apple VP of software technology Bud Tribble has been working with the latter group.
Apple has also been said to be looking at startups in the cloud hosting environment for acquisitions that would mesh with the HealthKit agenda’s long-term goals. Such a move would represent a deviation in strategy from Apple’s previous efforts in health care, the people said, which have focused on fitness and wellness.
At present, hospitals and medical offices lack a simple way to transfer patient information, something Apple might be looking to overcome should HealthKit become an industry standard. Apple already allows iPhone users to record medical data and health information gathered by the Apple Watch and other connected devices in the built-in Health app, and it has delved into health research with CareKit and ResearchKit, but based on these rumors, the company’s goal is to expand its health efforts far further in the future.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.
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