Apple working to give veterans iPhone access to their medical records

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Health
Apple wants to provide a central hub for all your clinical data.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is in discussions with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide veterans with access to their electronic medical records on iOS, a new report claims.

The company began discussions last year, with a view to allowing up to 9 million veterans to migrate their health records to iPhone to simplify medical treatment. It’s not clear how far plans have progressed since then.

The Wall Street Journal report also claims that Apple may eventually offer subscriptions to health services — such as prescription refills — through its Health app. This could earn Apple a 15 to 30 percent cut of payments, providing a lucrative revenue stream similar to the App Store arrangement with developers.

Simplifying the healthcare field

Apple began exploring the health tracking arena as a result of Steve Jobs’ protracted fight against cancer. Since debuting the Health app in iOS 8 in 2014, Apple has expanded this to include medical records.

Earlier this year, it introduced the Health Records feature into the Health app, enabling iOS users to see their medical history right on their device. This has now expanded to cover dozens of hospitals.

From the sound of the new Wall Street Journal report, plans are now afoot to expand this service in a way that will make iOS a hub for medical data. It will be interesting to see whether anything concrete comes from this.