Doctors now have quicker access to data thanks to a new feature in the iPhone Health app

Widgets for the App Store, Contacts, and More are available in iOS 15!

That type of integration could make it easier for patients to share information with their doctors, said Libo Wang, a cardiology fellow at the University of Utah School of Medicine who studies wearables. “The current workflow is mildly laborious, and requires the patient to email the pdf, and a clinician manually uploading that file to create a permanent record in the official electronic medical record,” he said in an email to The Verge.

People with smartphones and wearable devices regularly show up to the doctor’s office with readouts from apps detailing everything from their heart rate to sleep patterns. Now, with the new iOS 15 update this fall, some iPhone users will be able to send data directly from their Health app to their doctors’ electronic medical records systems.

Users could already pull in data from the other direction: since 2018, Apple has allowed people to add records from dozens of clinics and hospitals to their Health app.

The new integration will work with six electronic medical records companies in the United States. That includes Cerner, which controls around a quarter of the market, and five smaller groups. Apple says it could continue to add more. Doctors who use the records from those companies would be able to open any shared data within a patient’s health record. The dashboard opens as a web view directly inside the record; it doesn’t take providers to another outside app. The design is similar within the records for each of the six companies, Apple says.

The Health app data isn’t directly transferred into the electronic health record. Doctors can see a window with the data, but the information isn’t permanently added to the record. If an iPhone user decides to stop sharing their health data, none remains within the health record. The system is built using a framework called SMART on FHIR, an open interface for third-party applications that can work within electronic health records. Any group can create an app using the platform.

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