Apple has already introduced a Health app on its IPHONE that has information for healthy living and allows users to enter some patient information. The current cellphone Health app which has a white background and a red heart has four major categories of information: Activity, Mindfulness, Nutrition, and Sleep.
Apple has bigger plans though and it has been revealed that the next update to its IPHONE software coming in a few months will have a way for doctors and health providers to upload your latest health records right to the Health app on the cellphone. There is already a place for the user or patient to enter their own date regarding health records, body measurements and other vital information. So these places on the app will presumably be there to receive data from health providers. Of course, patients would have to give permission for the information to be sent to their cellphones. The information is currently available on patient “portals” or websites that hospitals and doctors have set up for patients to access their information. The cellphone app would make the information much more accessible.
Health providers are trying to share data with patients to encourage them to have more information to take greater control of their health care. And, health consumer organizations are promoting “health literacy” to assist patients including older persons to have more information about chronic health conditions including what prescription drugs they are taking.
Those of us working in health and aging services can play a vital role in community education and assisting patients, especially older patients have to use the Health app.