Apple has announced it will let you view your medical records using the iOS Health app with the release of the newest version of iOS.
According to a press release from the tech giant, one of the several new key updates in iOS 11.3 is a new Health Records feature that syncs a user’s medical data with the existing Health app.
A long-anticipated addition to the iPhone’s Health app, the health records feature will enable users to pull up their medical history, such as past procedures and lab results. Apple has partnered with 12 hospitals on the feature, including Johns Hopkins Medicine and UC San Diego Health.
“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,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO. “By empowering customers to see their overall health, we hope to help consumers better understand their health and help them lead healthier lives.”
Apple said the feature is supposed to put consumers in control of their medical data. It suggested the lack of centralization around patients’ medical records can make it difficult for consumers to access the information they need. Registering with a new care provider requires records to be sourced from a multitude of different organizations. With iOS 11.3, iPhone users might find everything they need is already on their device.
“Patients from participating medical institutions will have information from various institutions organized into one view and receive regular notifications for their lab results, medications, conditions and more,” Apple said. “Health Records data is encrypted and protected with a passcode.”
It’s worth noting that Microsoft has a similar service called HealthVault that’s been around for close to a decade and at one point competed with the discontinued Google Health. Microsoft recently dropped support for HealthVault Insights apps on mobile platforms, but it’s still allowing users to access their data via the HealthVault website.
iPhone owners who are also patients at one of the initially supported hospitals will be able to start viewing their medical records when iOS 11.3 launches in the spring. The update includes an expanded selection of animoji and the option to disable Apple’s controversial iPhone battery throttling.