This week, Apple became the latest tech giant to expand its reach in the health care arena.
The company announced that veterans who get care from the Department of Veterans Affairs will now be able to access their electronic health records in their iPhone’s Health app.
“Helping veterans gain a better understanding of their health is our chance to show our gratitude for their service,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said in a release.
The VA is the largest health care system in the country, serving about 9 million veterans at more than 1,200 facilities nationwide. In recent years, the operations of the department and the level of care at a number of the facilities — both locally and nationally — has been widely scrutinized.
However, Apple says by giving veterans, and other patients, access to their own records, it gives them more care options.
“By working with the VA to offer Health Records on iPhone, we hope to help those who served have greater peace of mind that their health care is in good hands,” Williams said.
Through the app, veterans can see their comprehensive health care history, including medications, lab results and more. The app will also continually update these records with information from multiple providers.
The VA joins other major health care providers like Johns Hopkins to team up with apple in making records available to iOS users.
However, with data breaches increasingly common and health records being sensitive, it raises the question of how users will know their information is protected.
The company says privacy is a top concern and that, “all Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID.”
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