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Apple Forays into EHR Business
Apple has entered the EHR business enabling individuals to aggregate their health records on their iPhones. EHR field experts have various opinions about this development. As per John Kelly, the principal business adviser for software firm Edifecs, Apple's involvement creates an instant and high-profile demand overnight for EHR vendors to provide patients access to their digital records.
Patients may become an agent of interoperability. As decreed by the 21st Century Cures Act, Apple's Health app on iPhones, allows patients to gather and access their records from healthcare organizations and deconstruct monolithic EHRs through open application programming interfaces. A decade ago, Google Health was an app that worked along similar lines but was terminated due to dull acceptance.
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According, to Daniel Kivatinos, the COO, and co-founder of drchrono (EHR vendor), healthcare apps can draw on newly freed data from EHRS and EHRs may function as patient data repositories enabling developers to build the novel, interesting, and handy products for patients.
As per Dr. Charles Jaffe, the CEO of Health Level Seven International, the organization that created Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), the access to digital health information will also bring a push for a set of standards for moving healthcare data such as (FHIR), federally mandating the provision of access to electronic versions of health data. Jaffe expresses excitement for the growing appreciation of patient engagement but underlines the need for developing semantic interoperability to ensure the exchange of meaningful and actionable information between patients and providers.
Questions about the source of information and liability have discouraged providers and institutions from importing information from the IoT. But Apple alleviates such concerns with the iPhone providing its users the ability to grant, direct, and track access to information. All in all, Apple's advent into the EHR business seems directed to reshape or maybe even revolutionize the field.
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By Simon Lin, MD, MBA, Research CIO, Nationwide Children’s Hospital