A critical part of improving patient experiences is ensuring people have access to the health data being collected on them. The Veteran Affairs Department understands this and has launched a partnership with Apple to provide health records through the iPhone Health app.
Veterans will be able to view their medical information in the app, including “allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals,” according to a VA announcement Wednesday. Users will also receive push notifications whenever the information is updated.
The partnership includes access to VA health records, as well as medical data from private health care providers that integrate with the app.
The release noted users’ data is encrypted using the iPhone’s security system—either a passcode, Touch ID or Face ID is required to view the data.
“We have delivered veterans an innovative new way to easily and securely access their health information,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. “Veterans deserve access to their health data at any time and in one place, and with Health Records on the Health app, VA has pushed the veterans experience forward.”
The app was developed using the Veterans Health API, which allowed Apple to connect directly to the VA’s medical records database. The API is currently being used by more than 2,000 private sector organizations to “create and deploy innovative digital applications,” according to VA.
The amount of data available in the app can be expected to increase, as well, as the VA prepares to roll out a revamped electronic health records program through commercial provider Cerner. The agency has already completed migration of the most pertinent health records for 23.5 million veterans, with more to be digitized as the program moves forward.
VA officials announced the plan for the app in February, though reports put the genesis as far back as early 2017.