This New iPhone Feature Could Help Save Your Life

iOS 11.3 users will soon have access to their medical records.

This New iPhone Feature Could Help Save Your Life

iOS 11.3 users will soon have access to their medical records.

It’s no secret that Apple is really trying to carve off a healthy portion of the nation’s $3 trillion health care industry. First, they’ve been giving Apple Watches out like hot cakes, in a push to replace Fitbit as the global device used to track fitness. Then, it started promoting apps like Sweatcoin, which uses your smartphone’s built-in barometer to track your steps and exchange them for cryptocurrency.

Now, Apple has upped its game even more, by launching a new feature on the iPhone Health app that will allow users to automatically download blood test results and other data from their health care providers.

iOS 11.3 users will see their Health App updated with a Health Records section that will enable them to see their medical records from various healthcare providers. The records will include information about allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals, and the user will receive notifications when their data is updated. Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai, Penn Medicine and other participating hospitals and clinics have already partnered with Apple to make these records available on the app. Of course, the data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode.

“Our goal is to help consumers live a better day. We’ve worked closely with the health community to create an experience everyone has wanted for years—to view medical records easily and securely right on your iPhone,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO, wrote in a statement. “By empowering customers to see their overall health, we hope to help consumers better understand their health and help them lead healthier lives.”

It’s a logical next step in the intersection between healthcare and technology. Speaking at a CNBC panel regarding the future of health care during the World Economic Forum at Davos last week, SAP CEO Bill McDermott commented on how archaic it is that, in 2018, people have to sign up to various different portals to access their medical records, instead of getting the data delivered straight to their phones.

“I think it’s wild that we’re still in a world where you repeat what’s wrong with you to several different people and you write what’s wrong with you down on a piece of paper,” he said. “The patient wants more than that.”

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