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article imageiOS 11.3 lets you access your medical records in Apple Health

By James Walker     Jan 24, 2018 in Technology
Apple's announced it will let you view your medical records using the iOS Health app. Starting with the next iOS update, patients at select hospitals will be able to access detailed information including lab results and known conditions from their iPhone.
As part of iOS 11.3, announced by Apple today, the company will launch a "significant" update to the built-in Health app that adds a new "Health Records" section. This will combine existing Apple Health data with medical-grade information direct from hospitals, allowing users to see all their records in one place.
Apple said the feature is supposed to put consumers in control of their medical data. It suggested the lack of centralisation 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 organisations. With iOS 11.3, iPhone users might find everything they need is already on their device.
Consumers will be able to visualise all their medical records on a single screen. Apple Health will expose vitals, lab results, immunizations and allergies, providing vital information to new care providers or emergency workers. The service also keeps track of current medications and previously performed hospital procedures.
Medical records in Apple Health
Medical records in Apple Health
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"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 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 addressed possible security concerns around its use of the data. It said all medical records are encrypted on the device. Protection is enforced using the iPhone's passcode. When records are updated, iOS will issue a notification that lets you know when test results are delivered or existing information is revised.
While the feature is in beta, only a small selection of hospitals will be supported. 12 medical organisations across the U.S. have agreed to share patient records with Apple Health. Apple said it expects more medical facilities to start connecting with its services when the new Health app reaches general availability.
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.
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