Apple Inc. (AAPL) has announced that the Health Records feature within its Health app is now available in the UK and Canada, allowing users to store and view their medical records securely on their iPhones, with assurances that their privacy will be protected at all times. Currently, more than 500 health care institutions in the United States, operating more than 11,000 physical care locations in the aggregate, support the iPhone Health Records feature. The initial rollout to the UK and Canada involves a total of five institutions, and Apple indicates that an increasing number of medical facilities in the two countries will make this feature available to their patients in the upcoming months.

  • Apple's Health Records feature is now available in the UK and Canada.
  • It allows users to carry consolidated medical records on their iPhones.
  • The feature uses data encryption to protect users' privacy.
  • Health Records is a feature with the Apple Health app.

The Health Records Concept

"We designed Health Records on iPhone to empower people to easily view their health records at any time," according to Kevin Lynch, Apple’s vice president of Technology. The Health Records feature takes data feeds from participating medical institutions and makes this information viewable on the user's iPhone.

The goal is to place at the user's fingertips a comprehensive view of health matters such as diagnoses, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures, and vitals, eliminating the need to log into multiple providers' websites or to carry paper records. The user also is notified when such data is updated.

Safeguarding Privacy

Health Records is designed to protect privacy by utilizing direct encrypted connections between health care providers and users' iPhones. Health Records data also is encrypted on the user's device and protected with the user's iPhone passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID. 

Using the Health Records Feature

The Apple Health app comes pre-installed on all iPhones whose operating systems are iOS 8 or higher. The Health Records feature resides under the Health Data tab. To become a participating provider, your doctor, hospital, or other health care provider must have an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system that is compatible with Apple's Healthkit framework. Users whose iPhones run iOS 11.3 or higher can connect to the Health Records feature and download their medical records from participating providers.

Apple maintains a list on its website of hospitals, clinics, and doctors that support Health Records on the iPhone and iPod touch. Before attempting to enable this feature, the prospective user may want to consult this list.