How to put your medical history on your iPhone in less than 5 minutes

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How to put your medical history on your iPhone in less than 5 minutes

  • Apple Health records is an amazingly easy way to see lab results, allergies, medications, vital sign recordings and more all on your iPhone.
  • You can import your medical history from your health provider if they're supported.
  • Apple supports hundreds of hospitals and is adding more all the time.

Apple and a growing network of hospitals and doctors' offices will now let you import your health history right into your iPhone. We'll show you how.

First, some background. Apple is trying to fix a longstanding problem in health care. Most hospitals and clinics have an electronic health record provider, which includes a "portal" that their patients can use to access medical information. But these portals tend to be extremely wonky and hard to use, so they aren't used much. The situation gets even more complicated for patients who see a lot of doctors, or who move to a different city, since many of these records systems are not compatible with each other.

But people carry their iPhones with them everywhere, and it's a lot more convenient showing a new doctor your medical history on your phone than it is to sign in to multiple web portals and print out reams of documents to bring with you.

Apple is able to do this thanks to HIPAA, a set of regulations that gives patients the right to their own health data, among other things. The company has signed up medical institutions extremely quickly since it announced the beta in January. As of March, Apple supports 300 hospitals and 40 health systems, and new ones are being added all the time:

If your doctor supports the feature, you can now easily see all sorts of data including health records, allergies, clinical vitals, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications and procedures, all right on my iPhone.

I was able to test this using records that were stored in my file during visits to NYU Langone in New York City. (Since this is personal data, I'm blurring some of the results.)

How to get set up with Apple Health Records

  • Open Apple Health
  • Tap "Health Data" on the bottom
  • Select "Health Records"
  • Tap "Get Started"
  • Search for your health institution. In my case, I use NYU Langone. If yours isn't listed, ask if they plan to add support.
  • If your provider is in the list, tap it. You'll be directed to a mobile site.
  • Log-in to the web portal with the username and password you usually use to access your health data online.
  • Tap "Allow Access"
  • Apple Health will pull in all of your health records that are stored on your health care provider's online portal.
  • That's it. It takes under 5 minute, and then your records will import.

Here's what you'll see:

You'll view a page that looks like this, which shows all of the health records you'd normally have to dig through on a complicated website. In this case, I can see that there are 233 records stored, including 147 lab results, 6 reports on medications, 1 immunization record, 4 conditions and 72 results on clinical vital tests.

I can see procedures I had done.

I can check what my blood pressure and pulse reading was.

I can see blood test lab results and if my results were in acceptable healthy ranges.

I can see conditions diagnosed and confirmed by my doctor.

My known allergies are listed.

Prescriptions are logged, too.

Here's why this all matters: Previously, it wasn't very easy to quickly find your health records. You'd have to log in to a portal and open each test individually to see results, or browse through various appointments. They typically look like this:

Now, with Apple Health records, you can just open up the app, pop in to see your lab results, and close out. You have a full picture of your medical history in your pocket at all times, and you can use this to show other doctors your data or remember what medications you're on and what conditions you need to stay on top of.