Apple working to bring comprehensive clinical data to iPhone

Aiming to turn your iPhone into the “one-stop shop for all your medical info,” a secretive team within Apple’s growing Health unit has been in talks with developers, hospitals and other industry groups about bringing comprehensive clinical data to the device.

CNBC has learned from a half-dozen people familiar with the team that a future revision to the stock Health app could let users store their detailed lab results and stuff like allergy lists to their iPhone for optional sharing with hospitals, doctors, health developers and more.

“Imagine turning to your iPhone for all your health and medical information—every doctor’s visit, lab test result, prescription and other health information, all available in a snapshot on your phone and shared with your doctor on command,” reads the article.

In its quest to turn the handset into the central bank for all health-related information, Apple is allegedly exploring potential acquisitions and attending health IT industry meetings.

It even hired some of the top developers involved with FHIR, an increasingly popular protocol for exchanging electronic health records, like former Epic Systems executive Sean Moore and Ricky Bloomfield, a physician from Duke University with a background in medical informatics.

According to CNBC:

Apple in recent months has been involved with discussions with health IT industry groups that are looking for ways to make this goal a reality, two of the people said.

These include “The Argonaut Project,” a private sector initiative that is promoting the adoption of open standards for health information and “The Carin Alliance,” an organization looking to give patients a central role in controlling their medical data.

Since iOS 10, the Health app has supported the Health Level 7 Continuity of Care Document (HL7 CCD) standard, which allows users to bring their own health records to the Health app. Users can share their records in an appropriate format with doctors.

Th Cupertino giant’s new initiative, however, seems to be a lot broader in scope because, unlike the ability to store a limited snapshot of HL7 CCD records on the device, it would make sharing full medical data with hospitals and medical professionals a reality.

If successful, the company could easily solve one of the medical community’s biggest problems—easy sharing of medical data and patient information between doctors, especially among different hospitals or clinics.

A March report said Apple has been working on a sensor for Apple Watch to non-invasively track blood glucose, a prototype of which Tim Cook is reportedly wearing on his body. Recently, the iPhone maker hired Stanford University’s digital health efforts chief, Sumbul Desai.