- Apple has entered into an agreement with Allscripts to allow its Apple Health Records product to interface with many of Allscripts' electronic health record products, including Sunrise, TouchWorks and Professional EHR.
- Patients who use Apple Health Records will be able to view their personal healthcare data through the single platform, even if they have multiple providers.
- Among the early testers of the Allscripts interface were hospital systems Sharp HealthCare in California, Blessing Health in Illinois and Sarasota Memorial Health Care in Florida, along with several large physician groups.
Many tech companies outside of healthcare have been dipping their toes into the sector in recent years. Apple has been particularly aggressive in this arena, sensing an opening for consumers to more conveniently access healthcare services through their smart devices. Last March, for example, the company announced a new app that allows consumers to perform an electrocardiogram using its Apple Watch.
And despite reports of rising tensions and turnover among Apple's health team, Thursday's announcement suggests the tech behemoth is still bullish on healthcare.
In January 2018, Apple launched the beta for its personal healthcare record app with the intent of allowing patients to aggregate their health data within the EHR kept by their medical providers. The Apple Health Records app meets the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard for transferring data among entities. Updates to patient health records are automatically updated in Apple Health Records as well. The PHR data kept on Apple devices is also encrypted.
PHR uptake has traditionally been slow, but in March 2018, the company announced that 39 hospitals and healthcare systems would integrate Apple Health Records into their EHR system. The number of participating providers has grown substantially since then.
For a time, one rumor swirled that Apple might acquire EHR giant Epic in order to better penetrate the market (spurred on by Mad Money host Jim Cramer in January), but such a deal never materialized. Even without such a big acquisition, the interface agreement with Allscripts will still dramatically ramp up the presence of Apple Health Records among U.S. healthcare providers.
“With Health Records on iPhone, patients can become more active members of their own care team,” said Allscripts CEO Paul Black in a statement. “Health Records on iPhone empowers individuals to direct how their own health data is stored and used."
Allscripts has more than 5,100 clients worldwide, and is one of the biggest EHR providers in the U.S., competing with Cerner, McKesson and Epic, among others.