By Marguerite Cleveland
The U.S. Department of Affairs and Apple recently announced that new capabilities will soon be available for Veterans to access their VA medical records using the Health Records on iPhone feature from Apple. This is for Veterans receiving their care directly through the VA.
“We have great admiration for Veterans, and we’re proud to bring a solution like Health Records on iPhone to the veteran community,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “It’s truly an honor to contribute to the improved healthcare of America’s heroes.”
The Health app on an iPhone will allow Veterans to view everything from health conditions to lab results as well as other medical information. In addition to the VA, Apple has partnered with other hospitals and medical facilities that have electronic records and this information is available as well on the Health Records app. Veterans will be able to view their medical data from multiple providers on their iPhone. Once a Veteran has completed an appointment within 24 hours of the visit their health record will be updated and available on the app. “When patients have better access to their health information, they have more productive conversations with their physicians,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO. “By bringing Health Records on iPhone to VA patients, we hope veterans will experience improved healthcare that will enhance their lives.”
All this is possible due to the VA’s new Veterans Health Application Programming Interface which allows Veterans to access their health records on mobile devices or in their web browser. “Our Health API represents the next stage in the evolution of VA’s patient data access capability,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “By building upon the Veterans Health API, we’re raising the bar in collaborating with private sector organizations to create and deploy innovative digital products for Veterans. Veterans should be able to access their health data at any time, and I’m proud of how far we’ve come to accomplishing this.”
According to Apple, Veterans medical records and health data on the app is encrypted and protected with a user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID. “Our goal is to empower people to better understand and improve their health, enabling them to view their medical information from multiple providers in one place easily and securely,” said Kevin Lynch, Apple’s vice president of Technology. “We’re excited to bring this feature to veterans across the US.”
The Apple iPhone app will be the first record sharing platform available to the VA which looks forward to partnering with other companies to bring similar technology to other mobile platforms. The Veterans Health API is another example of the VA’s commitment to IT modernization which began in March 2018 with the launch of Lighthouse, the department’s Application Programming Interface Management Platform.
Marguerite Cleveland is a freelance writer who specializes in human interest and travel stories. She is a military brat, a veteran and now a military spouse. Her military experience is vast as the daughter of a Navy man who served as an enlisted sailor and then Naval Officer. She served as an enlisted soldier in the reserves and on active duty, then as an Army Officer. She currently serves as a military spouse. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. Visit her website www.WanderWordsWine.com
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