Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning to bring medical information for its customers, like immunizations and lab tests to its iPhone. A total of 40 health systems are willing to step up and help.
The approval and willingness of these health care facilities to work with Apple is a big boost, owing to the slow pace of change in medicine compared to other sectors. However, the most outstanding aspect of Apple’s moves into the medical sector is the mission behind it. In this program, doctors put patients in charge. Ina recent interview, Jeff Williams, the Chief Operating Officer at Apple said the company’s new initiative is motivated by the fact that consumers will start owning their health data in the future.
This is a revolutionary idea largely because for a long period, patients have been putting doctors in charge and not the opposite, a situation mainly encouraged by the systems in place. As late as the 1960s and 1970s, doctors on several occasions failed to routinely notify patients about a critical diagnosis.
Several research studies have indicated that this practice is still common today with doctors failing to inform their patients they are suffering from a neurological condition like Alzheimer’s Disease.
Additionally, it is still time-consuming and expensive for patients to access their own health data.
Many hospitals and health facilities still regularly charge people some fee for it in many states, or they’ll decline to share it in a computer-readable format and will fax over a PDF.
This is the worst of it all and many medical experts agree that it must stop. According to Kenneth Mandl, who is Boston Children’s Hospital’s head of computational health informatics program a lot of time has been spent trying to get the language that can change and reflect a model that is controlled by the patient. Many medical experts envision a model for the medical field where knowledgeable patients are in charge of their own care, as opposed to being on the sidelines.
The language that Apple is applying in terms of empowering patients represents a rallying cry to the physicians and other health experts, policymakers as well as patient advocates who have been pushing for change for many years. It is strong warning signal to anyone who is protecting the status quo.