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Apple Brings Health Records on iPhone to the UK and Canada

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Apple has today announced that access to Health Records on the iPhone is now available in the UK and Canada, providing a fuller, more secure picture of patient health.



The existing Health app on the iPhone can now display full health records, enabling users to securely view and store their medical records from healthcare institutions in the UK and Canada. Oxford University Hospitals in the UK and Women's College Hospital in Canada are among the first healthcare institutions to make this feature available to their patients.

"We designed Health Records on iPhone to empower people to easily view their health records at any time, and we are thrilled to put this feature in the hands of customers in the UK and Canada," said Apple's vice president of Technology, Kevin Lynch. "We believe people should have access to their health information in the most private and secure way, and we have worked hand in hand with healthcare institutions and organizations to put privacy at the center of the patient experience."

The feature has been available in the United States for some time, with support from over 500 institutions and 11,000 care locations.

Health Records in the Health app allows users to automatically consolidate records held in multiple locations, without the need for manual logins for each healthcare provider, making for much easier access.

"At NHSX, we are committed to giving patients access to their own records so they can take charge of their healthcare," said Matthew Gould, CEO of NHSX. "The launch of Health Records on iPhone in the UK is a positive step and joins a number of initiatives across the NHS to put patients in the driving seat."

Health Records integration creates a direct encrypted connection between medical institutions and a patient's iPhone, allowing users to see a single view of their allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures, and vitals. Users can also be notified when their data is updated.

"Improving our services to patients while protecting their privacy and security is of paramount importance to us," Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery commented, chair of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and professor of healthcare law at University College London. "This exciting development provides a more convenient option for patients to access their health records. Patients retain control over their own health information at all times."

Apple has worked closely in recent months with Cerner, Epic, Allscripts, and InterSystems to enable the FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard integration with the Health app for their UK and Canadian patients.

"Women's College Hospital is proud to be among the first in Canada to offer Health Records on iPhone," Heather McPherson, president and CEO of Women's College Hospital said. "As we accelerate our virtual care strategy, we are committed to shaping a health system that people can navigate more effectively. We believe that digital tools like Health Records can contribute to more informed decision making and improve the healthcare experience."

So far only the following institutions in the UK and Canada support the feature:

UK

  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Oxford, UK
  • Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust - Milton Keynes, UK

Canada

  • Women's College Hospital - Toronto, Ontario
  • St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton - Hamilton, Ontario
  • Mackenzie Health - Richmond Hill, Ontario

Apple says that more medical facilities will connect to Health Records and offer patient access in the coming months.

Article Link: Apple Brings Health Records on iPhone to the UK and Canada
 
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kylew1212

macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2017
235
186
Huntsville, AL
While this is great for other countries, even in the US it is not common for a practice around my location to support health records. My regular doctor has online access for my account through patient fusion, but I am unable to pull data into health records using this. From what I’ve seen only the hospital around here supports health records.
that being said, it might be a slow uptake for support in the new countries which are just getting access.
 
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magicMac

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2010
798
255
UK
this is really cool to have in one place, especially as my local GP has locked out online access to stop online appointments during COVID.
 

polyphenol

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2020
356
393
Wales
Last time i looked Scotland was still part of the UK...
That was the point of the comment.

While the Apple side might be available right now, it was lamented it might not be available in Scotland for ten years.

Very often "NHS" actually means "NHS England". Not the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland NHS organisations. And it might not be available in the other three parts of the UK for a long time yet. The story completely misses this separation.
 

Marbles1

macrumors regular
Nov 27, 2011
165
494
There's already an NHS app - works in England and I assume Wales, not sure about Scotland or NI.

It gives you access to your GP record; mine goes back decades, quite impressed all the data is there.

I'm not quite sure this bizarre Americanised 'add your hospital or clinic' system Apple have applies that well to the UK. Do I need to add every hospital or NHS specialist centre I might have visited?
 

polyphenol

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2020
356
393
Wales
There's already an NHS app - works in England and I assume Wales, not sure about Scotland or NI.

It gives you access to your GP record; mine goes back decades, quite impressed all the data is there.

I'm not quite sure this bizarre Americanised 'add your hospital or clinic' system Apple have applies that well to the UK. Do I need to add every hospital or NHS specialist centre I might have visited?
Not Wales.

The one thing I have learned is to really try to avoid assumptions - though I'm sure I break that repeatedly!
 

daveak

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2009
291
325
Durham, UK
Based on past experience the NHS will be running it off an Excel spreadsheet and will blame Apple for not weakening iOS' security model when it doesn't work.

That was Serco and Public Health England. Nothing to do with the NHS.

You’ve also already been told how it will run. The PAS of the hospitals is providing this. These are provided by third parties listed in the article. Epic in particular, based on my interactions, seems to have been getting deployed by a number of trusts over the past few years.
 

fhall1

macrumors 68040
Dec 18, 2007
3,529
783
(Central) NY State of mind
While this is great for other countries, even in the US it is not common for a practice around my location to support health records. My regular doctor has online access for my account through patient fusion, but I am unable to pull data into health records using this. From what I’ve seen only the hospital around here supports health records.
that being said, it might be a slow uptake for support in the new countries which are just getting access.
Totally agree - where I live in upstate NY (not in the sticks by any means) the closest health providers listed are over 50 miles away - so no one I go to. They need to add a way to add data manually. I never really looked into the Health App before, but yesterday tried to go into it and enter my flu shot info (I got it yesterday)....and was amazed to see there's no way to manually enter vaccinations (Flu, Shingles, Pneumonia, Tetanus, etc)
 

JulianL

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2010
1,305
274
London, UK
There's already an NHS app - works in England and I assume Wales, not sure about Scotland or NI.

It gives you access to your GP record; mine goes back decades, quite impressed all the data is there.

I'm not quite sure this bizarre Americanised 'add your hospital or clinic' system Apple have applies that well to the UK. Do I need to add every hospital or NHS specialist centre I might have visited?
I didn't know about that at all! I just googled it and, to save others the trouble, I assume this is the correct link to what you're talking about ...


I would have hoped that this Apple announcement would have included some agreement for that data to be available via the Apple route but I assume that is not the case otherwise why would they only be listing 2 UK health trusts participating so far?
 

GadgetBen

macrumors 68000
Jul 8, 2015
1,553
2,842
London
There's already an NHS app - works in England and I assume Wales, not sure about Scotland or NI.

It gives you access to your GP record; mine goes back decades, quite impressed all the data is there.

I'm not quite sure this bizarre Americanised 'add your hospital or clinic' system Apple have applies that well to the UK. Do I need to add every hospital or NHS specialist centre I might have visited?

I agree, surely they could find our data for all hospitals/surgeries on a centralised system using our National Insurance Number?
 

JulianL

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2010
1,305
274
London, UK
That was Serco and Public Health England. Nothing to do with the NHS.

You’ve also already been told how it will run. The PAS of the hospitals is providing this. These are provided by third parties listed in the article. Epic in particular, based on my interactions, seems to have been getting deployed by a number of trusts over the past few years.
Sounds as if there are a few people on here who know some stuff about NHS systems.

I don't know how it works and maybe my data held at a hospital includes my data held by my GP but my experience tells me that it might not be true the other way round. When my GP referred me for MRI scans (a couple of times) they did not get back the actual scans but instead got a 1 page summary of the findings. When I wanted to go private to get a second opinion I have to get the CD with my actual scans on it via another route rather than via my GP. Maybe that was just a timing problem and eventually the scan files themselves would have been uploaded to me GP records? If not then is there a single consolidated set of patient records for NHS users in England and, if there isn't, might that be something that Apple could either partly or fully provide if it could reach agreements with multiple UK record holders (e.g. GPs and hospital trusts) that could all be pulled into the Apple Health app?
 

triton100

macrumors 6502a
Dec 15, 2010
511
768
The moon
Yeah anything that has anything to do with the NHS, forget about it. In general, the NHS in the U.K. still runs like an archaic relic from the Victorian age. Literally don’t know where the billions of pounds that gets pumped into it goes. Hospitals still run on spreadsheets and paper and pen. It’s embarrassing.
 

polyphenol

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2020
356
393
Wales
I agree, surely they could find our data for all hospitals/surgeries on a centralised system using our National Insurance Number?
There are, or at least were, rules prohibiting use of things like NINO for indexing unrelated systems.

This was intended to prevent entirely separate parts of government systems joining up in a Big Brother way. (I think I remember that private organisations are also barred from using NINO though there might be some allowed uses.)
 

ruka.snow

macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2017
776
2,154
Yeah anything that has anything to do with the NHS, forget about it. In general, the NHS in the U.K. still runs like an archaic relic from the Victorian age. Literally don’t know where the billions of pounds that gets pumped into it goes. Hospitals still run on spreadsheets and paper and pen. It’s embarrassing.

A project I was involved in in 2006 to push NHS Tayside to Digital proved that in every single case it was quicker to use a pen and paper. Everything from just looking at charts, data input, and writing prescriptions. It was of course iPad 1 at the time, but even looking at other devices, it was just so much slower than paper and pen. The innovation we found that did speed things up was a whiteboard above every bed.

That isn't too say some parts can't be done digitally, but we don't want to slow down doctors and nurses response times.
 
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insomniac86

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2015
395
547
Perth, Western Australia
I read somewhere that when Australia released their new healthcare system originally based off FHIR standards they screwed it to the point that apparently we need to do some major rework to our system to make it work.
Does anyone in Australia have any knowledge regarding this?
 

Unggoy Murderer

macrumors 6502
Jan 28, 2011
487
1,106
Edinburgh, Scotland
Last time i looked Scotland was still part of the UK...
Yes, thankfully we are!

However, the NHS in Scotland is almost entirely devolved from the rest of the UK. Through numerous decisions in the last 25 years, all of the health boards also operate pretty much independently of each other, with each left to come up with their own process, systems, protocols, etc. There's no properly centralised patient record database, for example.

This devolution goes all the way down to primary care, with most practices being operated as private partnerships, and again, each able to make their own decisions on how to operate, organise patient records, etc.

The thought of trying to get all health boards to agree on something is laughable - it'll not happen with things the way they are now.
 

StevieD100

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2014
636
914
Living Dangerously in Retirement
this is really cool to have in one place, especially as my local GP has locked out online access to stop online appointments during COVID.
My GP has gone all online due to COVID. Well apart from getting a Flu jab. No sheet of paper, no jab.

What the article is missing is how this compares to the NHS App? I can book appointment, order prescriptions , see test results etc using that app. At the moment, I don't see any need for this feature at all.
 
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melancholy

Cancelled
Aug 25, 2016
1,203
1,457
How does this work? I don’t get it. It don’t go to any hospital, I have a health care card number for my province though. Do I just choose any hospital?
 
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