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MORGANTOWN — Patients at West Virginia University health system facilities can now upload health-care records directly to their iPhone.
WVU Medicine is the 39th health-care provider in the nation to partner with Apple to allow medical records to be uploaded to the company’s Health app. Apple announced the new feature in January.
Although WVU Medicine already has an online patient portal that gives patients of the statewide health-care system access to their medical records and features like appointment requests, participation in Apple Health Records will allow patients to have more of their health information stored in one place.
A patient who sees multiple health-care organizations would have to log into multiple healthcare organization patient portals to see all their health records.
“This makes it a little bit complicated for patients who may be seen in multiple places,” said Ilo Romero, WVU Medicine associate vice president of information technology.
The app also keeps the records with other health-care data the patient may choose to track, like hours of sleep per night, activity level and heart rate.
“Let’s say I am on vacation in another state far from any hospital where I’ve been seen before and something happens. I can carry in my pocket all the health information that I may need in that situation where I need to share this information,” Romero said.
After opening the app, the patient can find the health records feature under the health data section.
Asked about concerns with privacy and security, Romero said that was initially a concern for WVU Medicine, as well. A legal review was the lengthiest part of ironing out the details of the collaboration, as the institution wanted to ensure patient privacy was protected.
No issues were found during that review, he said.
According to information provided by Apple, data sent to the app is encrypted and goes directly from the provider to the user’s mobile app, never passing through the tech company’s network.
Patients can, however, choose to upload the records to Apple’s iCloud. This feature can be turned off, however, according to an Apple representative.
The data stored on the mobile app is protected with the user’s iPhone passcode.
Medications, lab results, allergies and clinical vitals will all be accessible through the app, according to Romero.
“It’s really nice because it gives patients a holistic view of all their health information.”
He believes more health-care providers will jump onboard with the new technology.
“We are becoming more aware of our health, and this is just one tool that gives you complete visibility to everything around your health care,” he said. “We like to be at the forefront of innovation and offer to our patients the best services that we can.”
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