Mingis on Tech: Apple's latest iOS healthcare push

When iOS 11.3 arrives later this year, it will allow a limited number of users to more easily access and share healthcare data – part of Apple's ongoing push to connect patients and doctors. Here's what that means and why Apple might actually succeed.

Apple has in recent years made healthcare a major focus of its mobile OS, allowing iPhone and iPad users to more easily collect and share healthcare information on everything from workouts to emergency medical info to basic health stats.

The company in late January unveiled plans to move far beyond what its Health app – now nearly four years old – can do: With the upcoming release of iOS 11.3 patients will be able to view electronic medical records (EMRs) and other clinical information about themselves on their iOS devices.

The new Health Records feature allows medical facilities to connect via an API to their EMR systems to share data between providers and patients. The feature is currently available to the patients of 12 hospital systems via an iOS 11.3 beta (and will be more widely available once the final version of iOS 11.3 is released).

In this episode, Computerworld's Lucas Mearian and Executive Editor Ken Mingis exmaine what Apple is doing and why it might succeed where other tech bigwigs have fallen short.

In a nutshell, it's about interoperability and reach. The former means the creation of platform that is widely available and open, the latter refers to Apple's huge installed iOS base. Put the two together, says Mearian, and you've got the prospect for healthy growth (pun intended).

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