Apple in talks to transfer US veterans' medical records to iPhone

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2018
Apple is reportedly in discussions with the Department of Veterans Affairs to partner on a program that would grant millions of military veterans access to their medical records directly on iPhone.

Health Records
Apple's Health Records


Citing people familiar with the matter and emails pertaining to the proposed initiative, The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reports the program aims to enable health record portability for some nine million veterans enrolled in VA systems. The partnership would grant Apple access to a massive, condensed segment of the hard-to-crack U.S. healthcare market.

Current plans call for Apple to create special software tools to assist in the transfer of health records from the VA to iPhone, the report said. In addition, the company would provide engineering support to the government agency.

According to the WSJ, top VA officials began discussing a program to modernize VA records management with members of President Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club last year. Email correspondence seen by the publication illustrate early administration efforts to define the project's goals, the report said.

Though not confirmed in the report, Apple is likely looking to transfer veterans' medical information into the new Health Records tool.

Debuted with iOS 11.3 in March, Health Records aggregates and stores encrypted patient data in the iOS Health app, effectively making that information portable and immediately accessible to end users. With Health Records, users are able to quickly review medical records and other pertinent information with doctors and caregivers, bypassing backend hurdles that can bog down access to treatment.

A Health Records deal with the VA would be a major coup for Apple, which has so far inked agreements with only a limited number of health networks.

Apple launched Health Records with support from 39 health groups, with another 36 backing the technology in August. While a handful of larger regional groups integrated with the portability program, major nationwide networks are still out of the loop.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,519member
    A great gift for vets.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 7
    This can be a. important feature for Vets of all ages.  I'm from the Vietnam era, but there are older Vets than me.  For some from WW II and Korea the system would  support the older Vets, or their family/care giver.

    Since the VA is one of the longest running computer based health records system it may end up having some very large health records,  That might need to be looked at when looking at, say, the flu in 1952.

    Several needs I see would be the ability to reorder Rx's (just like you do on your computer) and use of Finger Print or Face ID to log in. Same with Secure Messaging ,in the VA System.

    I believe that the VA Health System is looking at updating their health systems.  If so I would hope that Apple can help influence them in various areas.
    repressthiscornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 7
    There is a fatal flaw in these 'portable' health records:  The assumption that they are accurate.

    As a healthcare professional on the inside, and as a caregiver and patient on the outside, I can assure you that they are anything but accurate. 

    Physicians record things for multiple purposes -- but most often to justify diagnostic tests and treatments to insurance companies in order to get reimbursement.   So, because your record has a diagnosis of some condition does not mean that you actually have or have ever had that condition.

    An example is:  A couple months ago I visited a new PCP -- but spent the bulk of the appointment debunking various historical diagnosis (such as a heart arrhythmia) he was seeing in my electronic records. 
    Another example was as a nurse treating a patient with a diagnosis of schizophrenia when he actually had zero symptoms of that condition -- but instead had a clear case of CTE.  But since insurance didn't recognize CTE, he was diagnosed with something that they could recognize and pay for.
    I could provide many, many more examples.

    I make a practice of keeping written records of all of my diagnostic tests and treatments -- and provide them to new physicians as necessary.   They are far, far more accurate than my electronic medical record.

    And, it is not just an academic problem:   misdiagnosis is a leading cause of incorrect and improper treatments -- which can be harmful and even deadly.
    cornchip
  • Reply 4 of 7
    There is a fatal flaw in these 'portable' health records:  The assumption that they are accurate.

    As a healthcare professional on the inside, and as a caregiver and patient on the outside, I can assure you that they are anything but accurate. 

    Physicians record things for multiple purposes -- but most often to justify diagnostic tests and treatments to insurance companies in order to get reimbursement.   So, because your record has a diagnosis of some condition does not mean that you actually have or have ever had that condition.

    An example is:  A couple months ago I visited a new PCP -- but spent the bulk of the appointment debunking various historical diagnosis (such as a heart arrhythmia) he was seeing in my electronic records. 
    Another example was as a nurse treating a patient with a diagnosis of schizophrenia when he actually had zero symptoms of that condition -- but instead had a clear case of CTE.  But since insurance didn't recognize CTE, he was diagnosed with something that they could recognize and pay for.
    I could provide many, many more examples.

    I make a practice of keeping written records of all of my diagnostic tests and treatments -- and provide them to new physicians as necessary.   They are far, far more accurate than my electronic medical record.

    And, it is not just an academic problem:   misdiagnosis is a leading cause of incorrect and improper treatments -- which can be harmful and even deadly.

    You do not understand how Apple’s system work. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 7
    There is a fatal flaw in these 'portable' health records:  The assumption that they are accurate.

    As a healthcare professional on the inside, and as a caregiver and patient on the outside, I can assure you that they are anything but accurate. 

    Physicians record things for multiple purposes -- but most often to justify diagnostic tests and treatments to insurance companies in order to get reimbursement.   So, because your record has a diagnosis of some condition does not mean that you actually have or have ever had that condition.

    An example is:  A couple months ago I visited a new PCP -- but spent the bulk of the appointment debunking various historical diagnosis (such as a heart arrhythmia) he was seeing in my electronic records. 
    Another example was as a nurse treating a patient with a diagnosis of schizophrenia when he actually had zero symptoms of that condition -- but instead had a clear case of CTE.  But since insurance didn't recognize CTE, he was diagnosed with something that they could recognize and pay for.
    I could provide many, many more examples.

    I make a practice of keeping written records of all of my diagnostic tests and treatments -- and provide them to new physicians as necessary.   They are far, far more accurate than my electronic medical record.

    And, it is not just an academic problem:   misdiagnosis is a leading cause of incorrect and improper treatments -- which can be harmful and even deadly.

    You do not understand how Apple’s system work. 
    I do understand it.  Its a straight import from the provider with no way to screen out or correct bad information.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    There is a fatal flaw in these 'portable' health records:  The assumption that they are accurate.

    As a healthcare professional on the inside, and as a caregiver and patient on the outside, I can assure you that they are anything but accurate. 

    Physicians record things for multiple purposes -- but most often to justify diagnostic tests and treatments to insurance companies in order to get reimbursement.   So, because your record has a diagnosis of some condition does not mean that you actually have or have ever had that condition.

    An example is:  A couple months ago I visited a new PCP -- but spent the bulk of the appointment debunking various historical diagnosis (such as a heart arrhythmia) he was seeing in my electronic records. 
    Another example was as a nurse treating a patient with a diagnosis of schizophrenia when he actually had zero symptoms of that condition -- but instead had a clear case of CTE.  But since insurance didn't recognize CTE, he was diagnosed with something that they could recognize and pay for.
    I could provide many, many more examples.

    I make a practice of keeping written records of all of my diagnostic tests and treatments -- and provide them to new physicians as necessary.   They are far, far more accurate than my electronic medical record.

    And, it is not just an academic problem:   misdiagnosis is a leading cause of incorrect and improper treatments -- which can be harmful and even deadly.

    You do not understand how Apple’s system work. 
    I do understand it.  Its a straight import from the provider with no way to screen out or correct bad information.
    Too bad Apple hasn’t thought of this. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    kruegdude said:
    There is a fatal flaw in these 'portable' health records:  The assumption that they are accurate.

    As a healthcare professional on the inside, and as a caregiver and patient on the outside, I can assure you that they are anything but accurate. 

    Physicians record things for multiple purposes -- but most often to justify diagnostic tests and treatments to insurance companies in order to get reimbursement.   So, because your record has a diagnosis of some condition does not mean that you actually have or have ever had that condition.

    An example is:  A couple months ago I visited a new PCP -- but spent the bulk of the appointment debunking various historical diagnosis (such as a heart arrhythmia) he was seeing in my electronic records. 
    Another example was as a nurse treating a patient with a diagnosis of schizophrenia when he actually had zero symptoms of that condition -- but instead had a clear case of CTE.  But since insurance didn't recognize CTE, he was diagnosed with something that they could recognize and pay for.
    I could provide many, many more examples.

    I make a practice of keeping written records of all of my diagnostic tests and treatments -- and provide them to new physicians as necessary.   They are far, far more accurate than my electronic medical record.

    And, it is not just an academic problem:   misdiagnosis is a leading cause of incorrect and improper treatments -- which can be harmful and even deadly.

    You do not understand how Apple’s system work. 
    I do understand it.  Its a straight import from the provider with no way to screen out or correct bad information.
    Too bad Apple hasn’t thought of this. 
    I suspect that they approached it from the medical provider side -- where the provider owns the data and has no real incentive to make it accurate.  Its main purposes are:
    1) Justify billings
    2) Defend against lawsuits
    3) (as a distant third):  Provide a patient history

    As an analogy:
    Financial professionals warn you to check your credit report periodically and correct any inaccuracies.  Healthcare professionals should be advising the same on your EHR's because they are far more likely to contain inaccuracies -- unfortunately there is often no way to make those corrections and you actually only get to see a subset of the record anyway.
Sign In or Register to comment.