Report: New iPhone Health app for doctors allows easy access to data


People with smartphones and wearables bring to the doctor’s office regularly with readings from apps detailing everything from heart rate to sleep patterns. Now with a new iOS 15 update this fall, some iPhone users will be able to send data directly from the Health app to electronic medical record systems for their doctors, according to the verege.

This kind of integration could make it easier for patients to share information with their doctors, said Libo Wang, a cardiology fellow at the University of Utah School of Medicine who studies wearables.

“The current workflow is rather tedious, and requires the patient to email a pdf file, and the doctor manually uploads that file to create a permanent record in the official electronic medical record,” he said in an email relayed by The Verge.

And users can already pull data the other way: Since 2018, Apple has allowed people to add records from dozens of clinics and hospitals to their Health app.

The new integration will work with six electronic medical records companies in the United States. This includes Cerner, which controls a quarter of the market, and five smaller groups.

Apple says it may continue to add more. Physicians using records from those companies will be able to open any data shared within a patient’s health record. The dashboard opens as a webview directly within the record; Not taking providers to another third-party app, Apple says the design is similar on each of the six companies’ records.

The Health app data is not transferred directly to the EHR, doctors can see a window with the data, but the information is not permanently added to the record, if an iPhone user decides to stop sharing their health data, nothing will remain in the health record, the system was created with A framework called SMART on FHIR, which is an open interface to third-party applications that can work within the EHR, any group can create an application using the platform.

For clinicians – especially cardiologists – direct access to iPhone data within health records can help them make more meaningful use of the information, Wang said.

One 2020 study found that when doctors reviewed a band generated by an Apple Watch that visually shows a user’s heart rate, they were able to report more cases of abnormal heart rhythms than the flagged Watch algorithm, if Heart rhythm strips are shared directly with a person’s doctor, so the doctor may be able to identify any worrisome patterns.

The downside, though, is that there may be an excess of information, Wang said. More data isn’t necessarily better, especially if doctors don’t trust its accuracy, and although data collected by wearables and smartphones may seem useful to patients, But it’s still not entirely clear if it actually helps people feel better or gives them better care, he says.

Cerner, one of the electronic health records company involved in the initial launch, was able to test the new Apple feature in its on-site clinic for employees.

It’s more common for patients to bring health data from their personal devices to health visits, and Lamson said Cerner is focusing on efforts to integrate this into its systems even outside of Apple’s new program. is that it is easy for doctors to use.

“I think the key to that is definitely empowering the patient and making them feel centered and safe, and it’s easy for them to participate, but it also presents the data in a way that is actionable and relevant to the clinician.”


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