Over 96% of Apple Health Records trial users found it easy to use

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple's Health Records, the company's platform for storing and sharing personal health data between patients and caregivers, has been given very favorable reviews by some of its first users, with a survey revealing the vast majority not only found it easy to use, but helped them understand their health.

Apple Healthkit


Launched in 2018, the Health Records feature allowed healthcare providers to share the results and data collected during medical exams with patients more easily, via their iPhone or iPad. While the system has been adopted by a small number of healthcare providers, a new survey of patients suggests that what has been implemented so far is useful for all involved.

Conducted by the University of California San Diego Health and reported by JAMA Network, one of the first 12 health care organizations to integrate Apple Health Records into its patient portal, the survey of the first batch of patients to use the feature revealed 78 percent were satisfied with it.

Approximately 96 percent advised they were easily able to connect their devices to the platform, allowing them to see the data being stored. Around 90 percent of respondents also advised it helped improve their understanding of their own health, facilitated conversations with their clinicians, or improved sharing of personal health information with friends and family.

While encouraging, the report also notes that just under half of those responded reported improvement in all three areas, suggesting there is still a way to go to make it exceptionally useful to all.

Health Records can provide details about a user's medications and allergies
Health Records can provide details about a user's medications and allergies


The anonymous survey was sent to the first 425 patients at UC San Diego Health who activated Health Records in 2018, with 132 responding to the queries. It is suggested in the report the results may also be more positive than would normally be typical, due to early adopters typically being more enthusiastic than the average patient.

While tech companies have attempted to help make data collection and sharing between healthcare parties easier and more organized for quite a few years, the concept has run into many teething issues. For the first generation of commercial personal health record systems, adopters experienced issues relating to limited accessibility and features, while at the same time failing to be sufficiently integrated with hospital data.

As an example, the report notes the three-year venture by Google Health into an interoperable personal health record, but it relied on older and less-standard interfaces. This resulted in it being used with fewer than a dozen health systems by the time it was discontinued in 2011.

Other issues include records that were often "missing, incomplete, or indecipherable jumbles of meaningless text," the report advises. While some systems were technically successful, they were still deemed failures due to showing test results already available on a hospital patient portal, and didn't offer other useful features, such as secure communications with clinicians.

In the latest attempt, Apple has adopted a new health data standard called FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) to simplify interoperability and connect healthcare systems to a standard online framework. It is also aided by the ongoing march of technology, with mobile devices and connectivity more prevalent, giving more opportunities for a patient to interact with their health records from their mobile devices.

Apple's shift into the health has been in the works for a long time, and the company stands to make a considerable impact on the industry as a whole. In a recent interview, former Apple CEO John Sculley suggested Apple could end up disrupting healthcare in a similar way to how the iPhone changed the mobile industry.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,254member
    This will be huge.  That was an understatement.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Virtually all Elecrronic medical record (EMR) companies already offer an app for  iOS and Android to get details from your medical record, submit a secure message to your doctor, etc. Epic Systems for example calls theirs MyChart. (Some health systems rebrand it under their own name).  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mychart/id382952264?mt=8

    These provide limited information (lab test results, upcoming appointments, secure messaging, pre-check in questionnaires, some recent patient visit detail, medication list, most recent bill, etc. ) They are missing a lot of data that your doctor has in your medical records: encounter notes, patient problem list, diagnosis detail, orders, etc.  Typically they also don’t include your medical images (X-rays, CT scans, radiology results, etc.)

    Where Apple can help is in the area of ease-of-use and better device integration such as to an Apple Watch, glucose monitor, blood pressure, clinical trial / research integration, etc.  

    FHIR (pronounced “fire”) shows some promise to ease the integration, but it also is only as good as how open the EMR has been built to expose the given recordset to be used as well as how the medical provider has implemented Epic for example to use their standard setup vs customizations.  Also, many EMR vendors limit their APIs using FHIR to be read only.  This has some limitations for patient reported health outcomes for example.   More on FHIR, here. http://www.hl7.org/FHIR/index.html

    I tnink that, for Apple to truly innovate and dominate in the health space, they will need to consider enabling this same health app to be offered on more than iOS. iTunes and the iPod really took off when it extended to Windows. The challenge with doing so is that medical records are the most sensitive data out there and carry significant regulatory requirements to protect this data (PHI / protected health information).  It must be encrypted in transmission and at rest on any device.   

    Without being cross platform, Healthcare providers will be hesitant to invest IT time in an “Apple only” solution. Remember: FHIR also requires IT department work to be done at each medical organization that you frequent.  Device integration, such as your Apple Watch tracking of steps, ECG afib events, heart rate, etc. also requires IT department work to enable. 
    edited January 14 SpamSandwichGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 3 of 10
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,886member
    As noted in the article, only a handful of providers offer the service through Apple. There are a myriad of EMR companies. In my case, I need to log in to at least two different services to see my info. It would become more helpful if Apple developed a way to aggregate the info from multiple sources without direct relationships with the EMR companies. Let me log in and export the data to Apple Health.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 320member
    Apple, disruptive?... Where did Sculley get that idea?
  • Reply 5 of 10
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 936unconfirmed, member
    I've been calling Apple the most successful medical research company in history. The fact they broke medical records days after releasing ResearchKit is solid.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 320member
    wanderso said:
    Virtually all Elecrronic medical record (EMR) companies already offer an app for  iOS and Android to get details from your medical record, submit a secure message to your doctor, etc. Epic Systems for example calls theirs MyChart. (Some health systems rebrand it under their own name).  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mychart/id382952264?mt=8

    These provide limited information (lab test results, upcoming appointments, secure messaging, pre-check in questionnaires, some recent patient visit detail, medication list, most recent bill, etc. ) They are missing a lot of data that your doctor has in your medical records: encounter notes, patient problem list, diagnosis detail, orders, etc.  Typically they also don’t include your medical images (X-rays, CT scans, radiology results, etc.)

    Where Apple can help is in the area of ease-of-use and better device integration such as to an Apple Watch, glucose monitor, blood pressure, clinical trial / research integration, etc.  

    FHIR (pronounced “fire”) shows some promise to ease the integration, but it also is only as good as how open the EMR has been built to expose the given recordset to be used as well as how the medical provider has implemented Epic for example to use their standard setup vs customizations.  Also, many EMR vendors limit their APIs using FHIR to be read only.  This has some limitations for patient reported health outcomes for example.   More on FHIR, here. http://www.hl7.org/FHIR/index.html

    I tnink that, for Apple to truly innovate and dominate in the health space, they will need to consider enabling this same health app to be offered on more than iOS. iTunes and the iPod really took off when it extended to Windows. The challenge with doing so is that medical records are the most sensitive data out there and carry significant regulatory requirements to protect this data (PHI / protected health information).  It must be encrypted in transmission and at rest on any device.   

    Without being cross platform, Healthcare providers will be hesitant to invest IT time in an “Apple only” solution. Remember: FHIR also requires IT department work to be done at each medical organization that you frequent.  Device integration, such as your Apple Watch tracking of steps, ECG afib events, heart rate, etc. also requires IT department work to enable. 
    With a 96% satisfaction rate among first time users, I don’t think cross-platform is a major concern or objective.  And if vendors want to make their data available to Apple, they can meet the security requirements of HomeKit.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,508member
    wanderso said:
    Virtually all Elecrronic medical record (EMR) companies already offer an app for  iOS and Android to get details from your medical record, submit a secure message to your doctor, etc. Epic Systems for example calls theirs MyChart. (Some health systems rebrand it under their own name).  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mychart/id382952264?mt=8

    These provide limited information (lab test results, upcoming appointments, secure messaging, pre-check in questionnaires, some recent patient visit detail, medication list, most recent bill, etc. ) They are missing a lot of data that your doctor has in your medical records: encounter notes, patient problem list, diagnosis detail, orders, etc.  Typically they also don’t include your medical images (X-rays, CT scans, radiology results, etc.)

    Where Apple can help is in the area of ease-of-use and better device integration such as to an Apple Watch, glucose monitor, blood pressure, clinical trial / research integration, etc.  

    FHIR (pronounced “fire”) shows some promise to ease the integration, but it also is only as good as how open the EMR has been built to expose the given recordset to be used as well as how the medical provider has implemented Epic for example to use their standard setup vs customizations.  Also, many EMR vendors limit their APIs using FHIR to be read only.  This has some limitations for patient reported health outcomes for example.   More on FHIR, here. http://www.hl7.org/FHIR/index.html

    I tnink that, for Apple to truly innovate and dominate in the health space, they will need to consider enabling this same health app to be offered on more than iOS. iTunes and the iPod really took off when it extended to Windows. The challenge with doing so is that medical records are the most sensitive data out there and carry significant regulatory requirements to protect this data (PHI / protected health information).  It must be encrypted in transmission and at rest on any device.   

    Without being cross platform, Healthcare providers will be hesitant to invest IT time in an “Apple only” solution. Remember: FHIR also requires IT department work to be done at each medical organization that you frequent.  Device integration, such as your Apple Watch tracking of steps, ECG afib events, heart rate, etc. also requires IT department work to enable. 
     I agree with this -- except the part about porting it to Windows.   Apple can protect its privacy on their own system but not once its ported to something else.

    But, while it is in fact easy to do this, as you pointed out, it provides no advantage -- since the client can already logon and get their data (or whatever part of it the healthy provider decided they were allowed to see).  It would though be helpful to consolidate all of the various lab data into one place.

    My biggest problem with all of this is:   The data is seldom accurate.   It will contain any number of historical diagnosis that were made not because you had that condition but to justify running tests and/or to satisfy an insurance company's demands for a diagnosis so they will pay.  I downloaded my own records and, very simply, it would be irresponsible and dangerous for a physician to base my care on it.

    People have a deluded image of the American health care system thinking that:  1) It's concerned about their health and 2) That they know what they're doing.
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 8 of 10
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,865member
    wanderso said:
    Virtually all Elecrronic medical record (EMR) companies already offer an app for  iOS and Android to get details from your medical record, submit a secure message to your doctor, etc. Epic Systems for example calls theirs MyChart. (Some health systems rebrand it under their own name).  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mychart/id382952264?mt=8

    These provide limited information (lab test results, upcoming appointments, secure messaging, pre-check in questionnaires, some recent patient visit detail, medication list, most recent bill, etc. ) They are missing a lot of data that your doctor has in your medical records: encounter notes, patient problem list, diagnosis detail, orders, etc.  Typically they also don’t include your medical images (X-rays, CT scans, radiology results, etc.)

    Where Apple can help is in the area of ease-of-use and better device integration such as to an Apple Watch, glucose monitor, blood pressure, clinical trial / research integration, etc.  

    FHIR (pronounced “fire”) shows some promise to ease the integration, but it also is only as good as how open the EMR has been built to expose the given recordset to be used as well as how the medical provider has implemented Epic for example to use their standard setup vs customizations.  Also, many EMR vendors limit their APIs using FHIR to be read only.  This has some limitations for patient reported health outcomes for example.   More on FHIR, here. http://www.hl7.org/FHIR/index.html

    I tnink that, for Apple to truly innovate and dominate in the health space, they will need to consider enabling this same health app to be offered on more than iOS. iTunes and the iPod really took off when it extended to Windows. The challenge with doing so is that medical records are the most sensitive data out there and carry significant regulatory requirements to protect this data (PHI / protected health information).  It must be encrypted in transmission and at rest on any device.   

    Without being cross platform, Healthcare providers will be hesitant to invest IT time in an “Apple only” solution. Remember: FHIR also requires IT department work to be done at each medical organization that you frequent.  Device integration, such as your Apple Watch tracking of steps, ECG afib events, heart rate, etc. also requires IT department work to enable. 
    MyChart sucks. Their app is terrible and their website is even worse. 
  • Reply 9 of 10
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,373member
    wanderso said:
    Virtually all Elecrronic medical record (EMR) companies already offer an app for  iOS and Android to get details from your medical record, submit a secure message to your doctor, etc. Epic Systems for example calls theirs MyChart. (Some health systems rebrand it under their own name).  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mychart/id382952264?mt=8

    These provide limited information (lab test results, upcoming appointments, secure messaging, pre-check in questionnaires, some recent patient visit detail, medication list, most recent bill, etc. ) They are missing a lot of data that your doctor has in your medical records: encounter notes, patient problem list, diagnosis detail, orders, etc.  Typically they also don’t include your medical images (X-rays, CT scans, radiology results, etc.)

    Where Apple can help is in the area of ease-of-use and better device integration such as to an Apple Watch, glucose monitor, blood pressure, clinical trial / research integration, etc.  

    FHIR (pronounced “fire”) shows some promise to ease the integration, but it also is only as good as how open the EMR has been built to expose the given recordset to be used as well as how the medical provider has implemented Epic for example to use their standard setup vs customizations.  Also, many EMR vendors limit their APIs using FHIR to be read only.  This has some limitations for patient reported health outcomes for example.   More on FHIR, here. http://www.hl7.org/FHIR/index.html

    I tnink that, for Apple to truly innovate and dominate in the health space, they will need to consider enabling this same health app to be offered on more than iOS. iTunes and the iPod really took off when it extended to Windows. The challenge with doing so is that medical records are the most sensitive data out there and carry significant regulatory requirements to protect this data (PHI / protected health information).  It must be encrypted in transmission and at rest on any device.   

    Without being cross platform, Healthcare providers will be hesitant to invest IT time in an “Apple only” solution. Remember: FHIR also requires IT department work to be done at each medical organization that you frequent.  Device integration, such as your Apple Watch tracking of steps, ECG afib events, heart rate, etc. also requires IT department work to enable. 
    MyChart sucks. Their app is terrible and their website is even worse. 
    Yes - it’s written by Epic. To quote a colleague, Epic can do everything, it just does an incredibly mediocre jab at it. 

    Epic is is more than the 890 lb gorilla in electronic medical records - they’re King Kong & Godzilla combined. Overall, they have more dominance than Microsoft did in the 90’s, so anything you write needs to be compatible with them, and they are under no obligation to make Epic compatible with your app. 
  • Reply 10 of 10
    MplsP said:
    wanderso said:
    Virtually all Elecrronic medical record (EMR) companies already offer an app for  iOS and Android to get details from your medical record, submit a secure message to your doctor, etc. Epic Systems for example calls theirs MyChart. (Some health systems rebrand it under their own name).  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mychart/id382952264?mt=8

    These provide limited information (lab test results, upcoming appointments, secure messaging, pre-check in questionnaires, some recent patient visit detail, medication list, most recent bill, etc. ) They are missing a lot of data that your doctor has in your medical records: encounter notes, patient problem list, diagnosis detail, orders, etc.  Typically they also don’t include your medical images (X-rays, CT scans, radiology results, etc.)

    Where Apple can help is in the area of ease-of-use and better device integration such as to an Apple Watch, glucose monitor, blood pressure, clinical trial / research integration, etc.  

    FHIR (pronounced “fire”) shows some promise to ease the integration, but it also is only as good as how open the EMR has been built to expose the given recordset to be used as well as how the medical provider has implemented Epic for example to use their standard setup vs customizations.  Also, many EMR vendors limit their APIs using FHIR to be read only.  This has some limitations for patient reported health outcomes for example.   More on FHIR, here. http://www.hl7.org/FHIR/index.html

    I tnink that, for Apple to truly innovate and dominate in the health space, they will need to consider enabling this same health app to be offered on more than iOS. iTunes and the iPod really took off when it extended to Windows. The challenge with doing so is that medical records are the most sensitive data out there and carry significant regulatory requirements to protect this data (PHI / protected health information).  It must be encrypted in transmission and at rest on any device.   

    Without being cross platform, Healthcare providers will be hesitant to invest IT time in an “Apple only” solution. Remember: FHIR also requires IT department work to be done at each medical organization that you frequent.  Device integration, such as your Apple Watch tracking of steps, ECG afib events, heart rate, etc. also requires IT department work to enable. 
    MyChart sucks. Their app is terrible and their website is even worse. 
    Yes - it’s written by Epic. To quote a colleague, Epic can do everything, it just does an incredibly mediocre jab at it. 

    Epic is is more than the 890 lb gorilla in electronic medical records - they’re King Kong & Godzilla combined. Overall, they have more dominance than Microsoft did in the 90’s, so anything you write needs to be compatible with them, and they are under no obligation to make Epic compatible with your app. 
    Well, uh, no...    Epic does a pretty good of doing what it was designed to do.   The trouble is, people don't understand what it was designed to do.  They think it was to:
    -- Improve people's health
    -- Make physicians more efficient and effective
    -- Improve medical record transparency

    It wasn't.   It was designed to improve hospital profits.   And, it does that.

    The analogy might be:   When they replaced secretaries with PCs and answering devices -- and told mid-level managers it was to make them more efficient.
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