Apple Partners with Department of VA to Give Veterans iPhone Health Record Access

This week, Apple announced it’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to give veterans access to Health Records features on iPhones. This advancement will let veterans view their medical information from multiple participating institutions such as the VA, all of which organized in the Apple Health app.

“We have great admiration for veterans, and we’re proud to bring a solution like Health Records on iPhone to the veteran community,” said Apple CEO, Tim Cook in an announcement. “It’s truly an honor to contribute to the improved healthcare of America’s heroes.”

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Data included in these health records include allergies, immunizations, lab results, conditions, procedures, and medication information displayed along other supplemental info like Apple Watch data. Apple claims the ultimate goal of this partnership is to provide VA patients with a more detailed and accessible view of their medical history and health data. All of this data will be secured via encryption and protected via the iPhone’s passcode, face ID, and touch ID.

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Apple also stated that giving patient’s access to their health records will likely bolster their interactions with providers, giving the veterans a better overall experience with healthcare.

“When patients have better access to their health information, they have more productive conversations with their physicians,” said Apple COO, Jeff Williams. “By bringing Health Records on iPhone to VA patients, we hope veterans will experience improved healthcare that will enhance their lives.”

It was reported that Apple and the Department of VA were discussing this deal in November of last year. Apple was said to be responsible for providing engineering support to the Department when this discussion was in the works as well.

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With over 9 million veterans enrolled in the VA’s system in its 1,243 facilities, this is a huge advancement for Apple. This partnership also marks another powerful step into the digital healthcare field for Apple, with their most recent Apple Watch’s EKG technology bolstering wearable monitors used with their smartphones. Apple notes that this is also the first health record system of its kind available to the VA.

Sources: Apple, TechCrunch

Jack holds a biology degree from Penn State University, and has a keen interest in how new medical technologies are changing the future of healthcare. Reach out to Jack if you have a compelling story idea or with feedback about past articles.