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Upstate Medical University partners with Apple to help iPhone users access health information on app

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Upstate Medical University says patients who are iPhone users can get access to their health information through Apple’s Health app.

The app “brings together hospitals, clinics and the existing Apple Health app to make it easy for patients to see their available medical data from multiple providers whenever they choose,” Upstate said in a news release.

Upstate Medical already provides medical-records data to patients through Upstate MyChart. The MyChart website and app allows patients to interact with testing results, see and request appointments, request medication refills, and ask questions of their physicians. Upstate describes MyChart as a “secure, online application.”

In its partnership with tech giant Apple, Upstate Medical is providing the additional ability to share information into Apple’s Health app. Patients already receiving their health records through Upstate’s My Chart, can now “easily” import their health records to the existing health app. It shares information such as allergies, medications, testing results, and immunizations.

“This initiative now puts all of an individual’s health information in one location,” Dr. Neal Seidberg, Upstate’s chief medical-information officer, said in the release. “Not only medical records and lab results from their providers will be available here, but information that the Apple Health app tracks, such as heart rate, steps, calories consumed and other information.”

What about the same technology for Android smartphone users?

“Apparently, the opportunity to merge health information from hospitals into the Android platform is not available yet. That’s our understanding. I’m certain we would offer the similar service once it is something that can be done,” Darryl Geddes, director of public and media relations at Upstate Medical University, replied in an email message.

“Empowers” patients

Having the ability to track health information in “one, easy, convenient location empowers” patients, according to Seidberg.

“A major consideration to partner with Apple was to provide our patients with a new and important way to monitor, manage, and gain a better understanding of their overall health. For families who are on-the-go, the ability to have access to all kinds of health information in the palm of your hand can give on peace of mind.”

To store health records on iPhone, patients need to open the Apple Health app; click on Health Records; click on Get Started; and select Upstate Medical University, the health-care organization said.

The Upstate MyChart sign in screen will appear where patients will enter their MyChart username and password. All information contained in MyChart will be uploaded automatically to the iPhone and placed in the corresponding categories: all records, allergies, clinical vitals, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications and procedures.

Patients will receive notifications each time a provider updates their health information.

Health Records data is “encrypted and protected” with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID, Upstate Medical said.

Upstate Medical first introduced its MyChart app in 2012 for its family-medicine patients. Upstate’s electronic health-record system is currently available throughout the entire health system.

“No matter where patients are cared for in the Upstate health system, their medical records are always available, and Apple Health gives patients another dynamic option to store, track and monitor their health,” Seidberg said.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com