April 2, 2018

VUMC health records now available on iPhone Health app

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is among an initial 39 health systems supporting a new health records feature on the iPhone.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is among an initial 39 health systems supporting a new health records feature on the iPhone, Apple announced last week.

Using the new Health Records section within the Apple Health app on the iPhone, patients can easily monitor their health record information from VUMC and other participating health systems, including allergies, the problem list, immunizations, labs, medications, procedures and vital signs. The feature is included when users update to the latest iPhone operating system (iOS 11.3 or later).

When health record data is transferred to the Apple Health app, it is encrypted as it travels directly from VUMC to the user’s iPhone, without traversing Apple’s network. As part of this feature, Apple does not receive, maintain or transmit any protected health information. When the iPhone is locked, the user’s data in the Health app is encrypted.

VUMC’s participation was facilitated in part by the Medical Center’s recent switch to a new clinical information system called eStar, powered by software from Epic Systems Corp.

“This is an exciting and very innovative opportunity that allows us to leverage all of the work we’ve done becoming part of the Epic community. Apple Health will allow us to share electronic health record information in exciting new ways,” said Trent Rosenbloom, MD, director of VUMC’s online patient portal, My Health at Vanderbilt (MHAV).

“Apple Health gives patients one more way to interact with their health record, including being able to bring together their medical information from multiple healthcare providers into one place. Longer term we think this will give people more ways to use their health information, such as sharing it with other health systems or taking advantage of mobile apps that use health data to help users take better care of themselves. You can imagine, for example, an app that lets you graph your blood pressure no matter where your blood pressure readings were obtained. We believe that is the direction Apple wants to go — and it’s certainly where we want to go,” Rosenbloom said.

According to Rosenbloom, among MHAV users there are approximately 19,000 iPhone users.

To link the Health app to VUMC health records, iPhone users need to be registered with MHAV. Users will go to the Health Records section of the Apple Health app, select “Add Account,” search for VUMC in the list of participating institutions, and then log in using their MHAV user name and password. VUMC health record updates will then flow automatically to the Apple Health app and users will receive alerts as new information becomes available.

Rosenbloom anticipates that other information technology companies, and other smartphone platforms, such as Android, will give consumers new ways to use their health records. He said VUMC intends to remain in the vanguard where this consumer health information technology is concerned.

MHAV, available in mobile and desktop versions at www.myhealthatvanderbilt.com, lets users review health records, communicate securely with members of their healthcare team, schedule appointments, refill medications and pay medical bills electronically.