Cleveland Clinic is one of several organizations to adopt Apple Health Records, a system that has the potential to revolutionize patient access to healthcare data.
When Apple declared its intention to integrate healthcare records into the iPhone operating system, the initiative was met with excitement and skepticism. Now, more than 60 organizations have jumped on board with the new technology, according to an Apple announcement. One of the most noteworthy adopters is the non-profit medical center, Cleveland Clinic.
As more organizations embrace Apple’s health app, the program is poised to have a significant impact on the the tech and healthcare industries as well as provide more accessible care to patients.
Apple’s Foray into Healthcare
With 700 million devices currently in use around the world, iPhones have the potential to bring mobile health initiatives to an unprecedented number of people. This opportunity has not gone unnoticed by Apple, and the company began its Health Records beta program in January 2018 with 12 hospitals. In March, the pilot program quickly expanded to include 27 more healthcare organizations. As of July 2, more than 60 organizations are supporters of Apple’s new app.
This technology has the potential to increase efficiency and break down traditional data silos, allowing for the seamless transfer of healthcare data from patients to physicians. In the future, Apple could even repurpose the information it collects (with consent) to advance research in drug development or patient reported outcomes.
Cleveland Clinic’s adoption of Apple Health Records serves to legitimize the program and increase its value in the market. With this endorsement, more organizations across the country are likely to implement the technology, providing new resources to patients. In addition, the growth of the app positions Apple at an advantage over Amazon, which has also expressed interest in venturing into the healthcare space.
What Apple Health Records Means for Patients
Apple’s program maintains a focus on user engagement and experience, offering a suite of features patients can use to monitor their health. Patients with the app can view their health data from their iPhones, accessing information on immunizations, lab results, medications, and allergies. They can also use the MyChart Portal to schedule appointments, renew medications, message their healthcare providers, and view physicians’ notes.
While many of these capabilities are not entirely new to mHealth, Apple has found a way to house them in one convenient place. Ultimately, the system provides patients with streamlined access to their own health data and a helpful way to connect with doctors. Apple Health Records also provides patients who have limited resources or a lack of mobility the ability to interact with their providers and receive quality care right from their phones.
Amy Merlino, Cleveland Clinic’s chief medical information officer, effectively sums up the impact the app will likely have on patients: “When patients have direct access to their personal health information, they have the opportunity to live healthier lives. They are able to track important health factors, such as weight or cholesterol or blood sugar, to determine their own personal health trends over time.”
The significance of this program will likely be felt more in the coming months. Apple Health Records places the company in a position to lead the way in bringing accessible, easy-to-use health records to more users than ever before. By allowing people to get a big-picture perspective of their own well-being, Apple is taking a significant step forward in patient centricity.