VA to offer patient access to health data on iPhones

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Veterans will soon have the ability to access their personal medical data on their iPhones, thanks to Apple’s Health Records feature.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that starting this summer patients who receive care at the VA will be able to view their allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, as well as procedures and vitals through the iPhone Health app.

“Veterans with Apple iPhones will be able to access the app on their device,” according to the agency. “After a visit to a VA healthcare facility, the participating veteran’s Apple device will automatically receive updated health record information within 24 hours from the visit using the built-in Health app from Apple on their iPhone.”

The data sharing connection between the electronic health record and Apple’s Health app utilizes HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard.

Also See: Apple Health Records API owes much to FHIR standard

Because the widely available FHIR-enabled Health Records feature is already enabling patients at hundreds of U.S. hospitals and clinics—which are not a part of the VA—to access medical information from participating healthcare institutions, veterans who use the app on their iPhones will be able to see their medical data from multiple providers.

The new capability falls under the Veterans Health Application Programming Interface (Veterans Health API) initiative, designed to provide patient access to health records by tapping into innovative applications on mobile devices and web browsers.

“Our Health API represents the next stage in the evolution of VA’s patient data access capability,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “By building upon the Veterans Health API, we’re raising the bar in collaborating with private sector organizations to create and deploy innovative digital products for veterans. Veterans should be able to access their health data at any time, and I’m proud of how far we’ve come to accomplishing this.”

The VA Health API, which enables veterans to view their medical records, schedule an appointment, find a specialty facility and securely share their information with providers, is the latest effort by the agency to map healthcare data to industry standards.

“The new capability using VA’s Health API and Apple’s Health app furthers VA’s commitment to make it easy for veterans to securely access their own health data,” according to the agency.

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