Apple today introduced a significant update to the Health app with the iOS 11.3 beta, debuting a feature for customers to see their medical records right on their iPhone.
Apple today introduced a significant update to the Health app with the iOS 11.3 beta, debuting a feature for customers to see their medical records right on their iPhone.

Patients from Johns Hopkins Medicine and MedStar Health are among those who can now see their medical records in one place on their iPhones because of an upgrade Apple made to its Health app.

Apple announced the upgrade Friday.

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The upgrade means iPhone users will no longer have to log on to the websites of several doctors or hospitals to view their medical information. They can also choose to receive notifications when their information is updated. The sensitive data will be encrypted and protected with iPhone passwords.

“Our goal is to help consumers live a better day. We’ve worked closely with the health community to create an experience everyone has wanted for years — to view medical records easily and securely right on your iPhone,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “By empowering customers to see their overall health, we hope to help consumers better understand their health and help them lead healthier lives.”

Twelve medical systems will initially have their records available. More systems will join in the future.

“Streamlining information sharing between patients and their caregivers can go a long way towards making the patient experience a positive one,” Stephanie Reel, chief information officer at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said in a statement. “This is why we are excited about working with Apple to make accessing secure medical records from an iPhone as simple for a patient as checking email.”

An executive with MedStar Health said the enhanced app would help improve the patient experience.

“Giving consumers easy access to their personal health data whenever and wherever they access health care services is not only personally empowering – it will make for better health care,” Dr. Stephen R.T. Evans, MedStar’s executive vice president for medical affairs and chief medical officer, said in a statement. “This is a game-changer for patients, especially those with complex histories who may see doctors at more than one health system. We are pleased to be part of Apple’s initiative to put health data in consumers’ hands.”

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