9to5Mac has a great hands on of how Apple’s new iOS 10 will allow patients to store their medical records  using the Apple Health app. Patients will be able to store documents in HL7 format — considered the universal health information storage standard.

Storing your own health information on your phone isn’t new. The real potential is the ability for you to store your physician created electronic medical record (EMR) data into the Health app. I suspect that is why Apple is making the HL7 format necessary.

My prediction is the following. The Epic EMR already syncs with Apple Health, enabling physicians and health providers to access the information from your Health app. The next step is for hospitals to use Epic to communicate with the Apple Health app, allowing patients to store their health records digitally onto their phone in a secure way.

We’ll start to see EMRs that have mobile apps communicate with the iPhone Health app — letting patients store updated versions of their medical history on their phones. Here’s where it gets interesting. If patients go to another hospital or physician, they can then share those same HL7 formatted records with their new health system’s electronic medical record app, uploading their health record digitally for the health system. No more having to coordinate between hospitals to get your information sent over and faxed.  Patients could always have a list of all their CT scans or lab reports stored right on their Health App at all times.

This is a huge step in the democratization of healthcare for patients.

apple health records