Friday, November 30, 2018
I Think This Is Pretty Big News And Is A Pointer To Things To Come.
This appeared last week:
By Ben Kesling and Tripp Mickle
Apple Inc. AAPL -0.05% is in discussions with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide portable electronic health records to military veterans, a partnership that would simplify patients’ hospital visits and allow the technology giant to tap millions of new customers, according to people familiar with the effort and emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Under the plans being discussed, Apple would create special software tools allowing the VA’s estimated nine million veterans currently enrolled in the system to transfer their health records to iPhones and provide engineering support to the agency. Apple in January announced its foray into the electronic-records field with a feature that allows patients to import and store medical information.
Top VA officials, as well as associates from President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, discussed the project last year in a series of emails reviewed by the Journal. The emails show how the Trump administration wrestled early on with the project’s goals.
An Apple spokeswoman said the company has nothing to announce.
The partnership would be a major boost for Apple at a time when technology companies are looking to elbow into the $3.2 trillion health-care market. Alphabet Inc. recently hired prominent hospital-system executive David Feinberg to oversee its health initiatives, and Amazon.com Inc. has joined with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to form a company that reduces its workers’ health costs.
Tech companies for years have sought, without much success, to bring together disparate troves of medical information and remove technological barriers to giving patients, providers and researchers access to health records. That access, health specialists have said, could improve care and speed the development of cost-effective treatments, but the effort faces technological hurdles and privacy concerns.
The VA partnership has the potential to accelerate Apple’s efforts to overcome past challenges by allowing it to tap into one of the nation’s largest, concentrated patient populations, health-care experts said. To date, the company has had to take a more patchwork approach, signing agreements with hospital networks and relying on them to encourage patients to import their medical records to iPhones using the new “Health Records” feature.
The company’s ultimate goal is to enable patients to import their records and share them with health-related apps, which would use the data to provide services like automated prescription refills, according to people familiar with Apple’s plans. Apple would take a 15% to 30% cut of those subscriptions as it does with most apps offered through its App Store.
“With nine million users, they will have the largest mobile platform for storing records on personal phones,” said Iltifat Husain, assistant professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine and co-founder of Impathiq, a health-data analytics company.
This seems to me to be a way for the person to be empowered with their health data on their phone and for them to decide who they share it with and who they accept new information from.
Sound good as an option to me.
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Friday, November 30, 2018