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Apple and VA want to integrate vets’ medical records into iOS app

Apple store. (Pixabay/Released)
November 27, 2018

In joint efforts, Apple and the Department of Veterans Affairs are in a discussion that would greatly benefit military veterans by allowing them access to their health records electronically.

The enterprise could also be extremely beneficial for Apple, who would stand to get millions of new customers by making these records easier to attain, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Discussions about this began in 2017 between VA officials and associates from President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club.

It is estimated that around 9 million veterans would be able to easily transfer their medical records right to their iPhone. Apple would produce special software and all necessary requirements create support to VA, the Verge reported.

This move comes shortly after Apple has made an entry into the healthcare arena with app accessibility to electronic health care records. In January, Apple’s health app started allowing patients to import their medical records and it was very well received.

If Apple is able to strike a deal with Veterans Affairs, it would be a huge move for them in the healthcare industry since this is a multi-trillion-dollar market.

Apple’s other devices include “step-counting on the iPhone and heart-rate tracking on the Apple Watch.” The Apple Watch measures a user’s heart rate and other vitals during fitness regimens. The latest Series 4 model, which was approved by the FDA, can perform an electrocardiogram.

Last spring, Apple provided an iOS update that allowed users to access a number of their health records, which included lab results, medications, a list of allergies, immunization records, and more.

Through Apple’s CareKit platform, patients have been able to share their information with other specialized medical apps. It also offers the ResearchKit platform to be used for medical studies.

Under the AC Wellness brand, Apple is working on offering medical clinics for employees and their families.

In the future, Apple is considering offering various subscriptions to health services through their app, which would likely include prescription refills or discounts.

Apple is not the only one that has an eye on this industry; Google wants in too.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company has Verily, which is a life sciences research subsidiary, as well as Calico, both devoted to offering easier access to health data and research.

In a bold move this month, Google recruited David Feinberg from Geisinger, a company that initiated the use of electronic medical records. Feinberg will take the lead in healthcare related programs and apps moving forward for Google.

Amazon also wants to enter the industry, which became visible when they bought PillPack last summer, which also positioned them to contend with pharmaceutical giants like Walgreens and CVS.