Apple in talks to give U.S. veterans access to electronic medical records

“Apple Inc. is in discussions with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide portable electronic health records to military veterans, a partnership that would simplify patients’ hospital visits and allow the technology giant to tap millions of new customers, according to people familiar with the effort and emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal,” Ben Kesling and Tripp Mickle report for The Wall Street Journal.

“Under the plans being discussed, Apple would create special software tools allowing the VA’s estimated nine million veterans currently enrolled in the system to transfer their health records to iPhones and provide engineering support to the agency,” Kesling and Mickle report. “Apple in January announced its foray into the electronic-records field with a feature that allows patients to import and store medical information.”

“Top VA officials, as well as associates from President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, discussed the project last year in a series of emails reviewed by the Journal,” Kesling and Mickle report. “The VA partnership has the potential to accelerate Apple’s efforts to overcome past challenges by allowing it to tap into one of the nation’s largest, concentrated patient populations, health-care experts said… ‘With nine million users, they will have the largest mobile platform for storing records on personal phones,’ said Iltifat Husain, assistant professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine and co-founder of Impathiq, a health-data analytics company.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, Apple and the VA can ink this deal to provide U.S. vets secure portable electronic health records.

One of the biggest issues in healthcare in the U.S. today is that there is no “Quartberback” – someone running the effort, coordinating the various specialists, making sure everyone is on the same page with the treatment plan(s), drug interactions, allergies, etc. A “playbook” showing the full picture of the patient’s health data would be very useful – and let the disparate medical personnel each quarterback on their own. Hopefully, Apple can step in, build, and fulfill this need with the company’s vaunted security and privacy.MacDailyNews, August 22, 2016

How much this would improve healthcare cannot be overstated. Apple will save lives here. — MacDailyNews, June 15, 2017

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  1. My father served in Vietnam. I grew up witnessing the toll that took on his physical and mental health. Worse, I witnessed the VA misdiagnose him for years, repeatedly telling him that the pain was in his head and prescribing Valium and Ativan, to which he became addicted.

    He actually had kidney stones.

    Done right, a public-private partnership could do wonders to modernize the VA medical system and improve the treatment and outcomes for our veterans. We owe them that, at the very least.

  2. Won’t there be some sort of a problem making this something only an iPhone can access? Someone is going to complain about this, saying how iPhones are too expensive for the average veteran or something to that effect. There have to be far more veterans using Android smartphones than iPhones and those veterans are going to be pissed. It just seems like this is something Apple won’t be able to grab for its own hardware base and will surely lose out. Apple will never beat Android with such small iPhone market share and far higher prices.

    Even as an Apple shareholder, to me this doesn’t seem right and see no possibility of it happening.

    1. You really are the eternal Sad Sack, aren’t you? Not matter what happens in the world, you worry about its impact on the value of your AAPL shares. Well, I’ll tell you what I worry about: your mental health. I hope you have proper health care insurance. But what’s more important is that you exercise daily, maintain a sensible diet, and for God’s sake stop obsessing about your investments. It may help if you stop reading every bloody article about Apple, and if you give your imagination a blessed rest. Take a vacation in the Adirondacks, and leave your smartphone and stock market alerts behind. Read a book instead. i recommend The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. Lewis Carroll is also good for the healing mind.

  3. This is the the kind health-care reform/investment which both parties should radically commit to.

    The only concerns which I could imagine anyone raising, are privacy concerns. To which Apple can respond, “That’s why we make it as difficult as possible to decrypt our software and hardware, and place privacy in the hands of the user as much as possible.”

  4. While I am wary of any program that collects vast amt. of data, I am OK if an individual’s imaging and text data remains on the individual’s iPhone, not in the “cloud.” God, I hate that word. Could an iPhone actually store that much, or maybe it’s not that much at all.

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