Apple and the Department of Veterans Affairs announced on Wednesday that veterans across the United States with iOS devices will now be able to access the Health Records feature in the Health app on their iPhone. The Department is a federal agency that provides healthcare services to military veterans with more than 9 million registered veterans and more than 1,200 facilities.
Apple teamed up with the department to roll out the feature to a select few veterans in the summer, allowing veterans who receive healthcare via Veterans Health Administration to access their medical records directly from their iPhones. Today, the company announced that the feature will be available all veterans across the board.
"Helping veterans gain a better understanding of their health is our chance to show our gratitude for their service," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer. With the help of Apple's "first record-sharing platform of its kind," veterans with iPhones or iPads can access their medical records easily. All they need to do is sign into a participating health provider's patient portal using the iOS Health app and they'll have access to their lab results, medications and other data all in one place eliminating the need to get copies printed or otherwise go through an elaborate and time-consuming process.
The continually updated records, which will be stored on the iPhone's Health app, will allow patients to view and all-in-one snapshot of their health profile whenever the need arises. Apple ensures the sensitive health data stays private and secure by not only encrypting the records but also making them inaccessible without a passcode, biometric authorization like Touch ID or facial recognition using the Face ID.
In order to make this feature available to more users, Apple has joined hands with several other healthcare organizations, including Johns Hopkins, the University of California San Diego, Quest Diagnostics and Allscripts, the company said.