After launching its Health Records service in the US back in 2018 this hugely important feature from Apple is now coming to the UK. The US technology giant has confirmed that, from today, iPhone users will be able to access vital medical data straight from their devices with it aimed at giving people an instant snapshot of their health.
Health Records brings together information such as lab results, immunisations, medications and procedures in one place making it far easier to keep check of your well-being.
Allergies and any pre-existing conditions you might have can also be stored and once you visit a hospital for a check-up the service can be updated with new information and results even sent straight to the app.
Of course, this is highly sensitive information but Apple says that everything is kept secure via encryption and all data is sent directly from the medical institution to the patient’s iPhone.
Importantly, hospitals can hold back when they send out data so that it arrives with a patient at a time when a doctor is available to discuss the results.
“We designed Health Records on iPhone to empower people to easily view their health records at any time, and we are thrilled to put this feature in the hands of customers in the UK and Canada,” said Kevin Lynch, Apple’s vice president of Technology. “We believe people should have access to their health information in the most private and secure way, and we have worked hand in hand with healthcare institutions and organisations to put privacy at the centre of the patient experience.”
The Health Records feature in the Health app is currently available to patients of medical institutions including Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Milton Keynes University Hospital.
However, Apple says that, in the coming months, more medical facilities will connect to Health Records and offer their patients access to this feature.
It’s unclear how quickly it will roll out to other hospitals and doctor’s surgeries but in the two years since launching in the US, over 500 institutions currently support Health Records on iPhone, listing more than 11,000 care locations.
One major benefit of the Health Records is that previously, patients’ medical records were held in multiple locations, requiring users to log in to each healthcare provider’s website to piece together their health information manually.
Now it’s all stored in one place on your iPhone and can be accessed via Face ID or Touch ID security.
“Improving our services to patients while protecting their privacy and security is of paramount importance to us,” said Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery, chair of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and professor of healthcare law at University College London. “This exciting development provides a more convenient option for patients to access their health records. Patients retain control over their own health information at all times.”