Apple’s Health Records Places Care in Patients’ Hands

Patients today are taking a more active role in their own healthcare than ever before, thanks to the availability of medical information online, improved access to electronic health records, and the development of mobile health monitoring tools.

At Qvera, we’re passionate about facilitating collaboration among care teams — so what makes the difference between unhelpful patient contributions (jokes about “Doctor Google” diagnoses come to mind) and indispensable patient partnerships?

We think it comes down to the quality of the tools patients and providers use to collect and exchange health information.

Three things can help patients move from passive healthcare recipients to committed care collaborators:

  1. Easy access to their own comprehensive medical history.
  2. Reliable, accurate health-monitoring devices.
  3. A trustworthy way to submit information to care teams, in a helpful format.

A few key players are opening doors for innovations that address these issues, providing high-quality monitoring and information exchange and moving healthcare toward collaboration, interoperability and transparency.

Apple Health Records encourage patient engagement on a large scale

Last month, Apple announced that its Health app will include a Health Records feature that pulls together Health app data and medical records to display users’ health history in one place.

Until now, patients with access to patient portal data have had to log into separate apps and websites for each hospital or provider and piece together their medical history. Combining available health records will bring unprecedented accessibility to over 8 million iPhone users – a number that dwarfs the amount of users for any provider-specific portal.

Apple has formed partnerships with a dozen major health providers and is working with top FHIR developers to make sure records will be transferred quickly, safely and securely, speaking the language EMRs already use.

Instead of logging into various portals, users can open one password-protected app to view an organized summary of health history, including visits, vitals, allergies, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and health conditions.

When patients can actually see their medical history in one place, they’re much more likely to become engaged participants in their own care.

Better devices, better data

Apple also announced that the Apple Watch is becoming a standalone device that won’t require iPhone tethering. This opens up opportunities for developers to integrate medical features, from heart rate monitoring to noninvasive continuous glucose reading.

In addition, many other standalone medical devices such as blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, and glucose monitors can push data to a patient’s Health app via Bluetooth.

As more medical features are developed, tested and integrated, more valuable information will be available to patients and their doctors.

Information overload? Qvera turns down the noise

Perhaps the biggest concern with home health monitoring devices is the quantity of data they can produce. The purpose of mobile monitoring is to improve care — but bogging down providers and records systems with irrelevant data could easily have the opposite effect.

And that’s where our visual interface engine comes in.

The Qvera Interface Engine can not only help developers transmit health data from their devices to patients’ phones, hospital record systems and EHR data centers; it also makes sure this data is aggregated, filtered and reported in the most helpful way for each user.

Whether the end goal is to report quality information to research centers for population health management or to provide a specific doctor with information about a specific patient, QIE’s flexibility and configurability make it easy for different audiences to focus only on the data that matters to them.

We’re convinced that putting health back in patients’ hands — or on their wrists — is the future of healthcare. Qvera connects all the dots, from mobile monitoring to records to data repositories.

Learn more about the Qvera Interface Engine