News broke this week that Apple will be making even more advancements in the healthcare scope which has created quite a stir among professionals in the industry. The advancements that Apple will be making in healthcare industry involves technology and health records, a combination that has the ability to disrupt healthcare as we know it.
This move comes after months of speculation from people, trying to figure out what Apple’s next plan will be when it comes to healthcare. Publications far and wide reported on this topic, trying to predict and figure out what Apple will do next. Long behold, the announcement is here.
“Apple announces effortless solution bringing health records to iPhone”
A personal health record, or otherwise known as PHR, is an important record that holds patients health information. This record allows patients to make medical decisions and comes from providers and is handed down to patients. This record is secure and confidential and can benefit patients greatly.
“Personal health record systems are more than just static repositories for patient data; they combine data, knowledge, and software tools, which help patients to become active participants in their own care. When PHRs are integrated with electronic health record systems, they provide greater benefits than would stand-alone systems for consumers. ” Ncbi reports.
The problems that patients and providers have dealt with when it comes to PHR is the risk of these important documents to be lost, stolen, or destroyed in scenarios like natural disasters. NCBI touches on this in a report that reveals the benefits of these records, and how to overcome any barriers that can be found while using them for health reasons.
Hurricane Katrina is a topic of discussion in the report, emphasizing the fact that once this natural disaster hit, it “exposed the fragility of America’s health information infrastructure.” It is important for there to be a stable system that providers and patients can rely on in order to gain access to important health information.
The report continues to emphasize the fact that America needs to be able to rely on an infrastructure that ultimately acts as a benefit to both personal and public healthcare delivery.
Electronic health records have helped move these efforts forward, by acting as a secure base that all parties in the healthcare industry can rely on. Now, Apple is securing these initiatives even more.
Apple has made quite a transition into the healthcare scope. It all started in 2014 when Apple launched the Health app along with the HealthKit platform in order to deliver customers with an experience that brings both health and fitness on one platform. This feature became available for the iPhone and the iPad, during a time where people were participating in tracking both health and fitness metrics.
Apple leveraged the trend that consumers were participating in, by creating a multi useful outlet that eventually became a trademark for Apple. Customers appreciated the fact that they can track calories, steps taken and overall wellness information. This move started a movement within the corporation that has continued into today.
The next thing that Apple created involved wearable devices that allow customers to monitor health through data on a device located on the wrist through a wearable device. We touched on this a few months ago on Digital Diary. If you missed it, don’t fret. You can find it here. Apple creating a wearable device gave consumers a first-hand insight into where the tech industry is going in the healthcare scope.
Now, Apple has taken steps even further into the healthcare industry.
“The new Health Records section is available to the patients of the following medical institutions as part of the iOS 11.3 beta. In the coming months, more medical facilities will connect to Health Records offering their patients access to this feature.” Apple reports.
Apple is planning on releasing this feature through the new iOS 11.3 beta, allowing customers to view medical records directly from their iPhone. Convenient, right? It sure is, and hospitals agree too. Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai, Penn Medicine along with other hospitals will be making these features available to their patients. This is a big step in medicine and for patients.
“Now, consumers will have medical information from various institutions organized into one view covering allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals, and will receive notifications when their data is updated. Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode.” Apple reports.
Apple made this announcement on its Newsroom feature, which acts as a source to update customers of all latest advancements within the company. Apple explains how patient’s medical records have been handled previously before this feature will be debuted.
Apple claimed in the news release that the move to make healthcare records available through Apple devices will put customers at the center of their care so they can be more in control of the state of their records. What better company to push this initiative forward than Apple? Apple is credible, trusted and not to mention, has a large fan following base that has created, in a sense, a culture of people who can be found with Apple symbols on the back of their technology.
“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 reports.
Apple wants to make it possible for patients to check health records in a quick and easy way. This will eliminate all communication barriers that exist between patients and providers. It will enable a level of trust among consumers because the records will be accessible to the patient’s discretion.
What This Means For Healthcare
It is no surprise that Apple’s move into health records has created quite the stir among the industry. Professionals and patients alike are anticipating how this will change the industry.
For starters, Apple will become the first company to take a leap in this direction. This means that the tech industry may change in order to keep up with the advancements that Apple has made. As far as the healthcare industry is concerned, hospitals who choose to participate in this change will have to adjust business structures in order to meet the needs of this new feature.
Not only will hospitals have to adapt to this advancement, it will also take some time for all hospitals to be on board. So far, the list of hospitals who have agreed to this beta test are:
- Johns Hopkins Medicine – Baltimore, Maryland
- Cedars-Sinai – Los Angeles, California
- Penn Medicine – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Geisinger Health System – Danville, Pennsylvania
- UC San Diego Health – San Diego, California
- UNC Health Care – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
- Rush University Medical Center – Chicago, Illinois
- Dignity Health – Arizona, California and Nevada
- Ochsner Health System – Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
- MedStar Health – Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia
- OhioHealth – Columbus, Ohio
- Cerner Healthe Clinic – Kansas City, Missouri
Once these hospitals follow through with this test, we will then be able to see if this new feature will be beneficial or not. As always, Digital Diary will be keeping up to date with the story in order to understand the complete impact that this move has on the industry.
The future of healthcare is digital. With the FDA providing clarity with the launch of new regulations regarding digital technology in 2018, developers and healthcare industry stakeholders alike are working to transform the patient experience.
The healthcare landscape is changing. The on-demand patient increasingly favors digital technology and platforms. According to Pew Research, a third of Americas have gone online and searched symptoms, in an attempt to diagnose a medical condition. Consumers also use the internet to look up information about healthcare professionals, and facilities. Healthcare marketers are being forced to think digital for the first time.
The US healthcare industry is unique, as it markets direct-to-consumer or direct-to-patient. Digital marketing technology is enabling healthcare marketers to talk directly to consumers in a new, more engaging way.
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