Getting access to health records can be tricky, especially for people who aren’t familiar or comfortable with the system. Apple’s recently announced partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) helps by bringing its Health Records feature to veterans.
In their announcement, Apple said the partnership allows veterans receiving care through the Veterans Health Administration to “securely view their aggregated health records directly in the Health app on their iPhone.”
Health records can get scattered across various institutions and become hard to track down. Having everything in one spot will be really useful for people. Apple said the data will include allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals, and it’ll be displayed along with other information like Apple Watch data.
“When patients have better access to their health information, they have more productive conversations with their physicians,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO, said, “By bringing Health Records on iPhone to VA patients, we hope veterans will experience improved healthcare that will enhance their lives.”
In 2017, Pew Research Center reported 12 percent of U.S. veterans are Black. Navigating the healthcare field can be exhausting for Black people, who have to deal with racial bias within it. Having easy access to their complete health records may help patients who have valid distrust for a system feel more comfortable when they need to seek healthcare.
With the partnership, Apple can reach more than 9 million veterans enrolled in the VA’s system across 1,243 facilities, as reported by TechCrunch.
Health Records are totally encrypted and protected by the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID.