Technology has been an integral part of healthcare delivery for over eighty years, but it is only in recent years that it has been used on the administrative side instead of for diagnostic or treatment purposes. The first wave of this change was driven when key stakeholders -- providers, patients, insurers and pharmaceutical manufacturers alike -- realized the value of electronic health records. We are now in the next generation of change, one driven by robotic process automation. The concept of Robotic Process Automation itself has gone a rapid evolution in the past few years, growing from implementations that failed because of incompatibility or inability to becoming smart, self-learning systems that can handle multiple tasks across a multitude of systems. In a field where the slightest mistake can literally be a matter of life or death, RPA's highly accurate, highly efficient, ne'er-failing bots might just be the cure the doctor ordered.
Apple is expanding its Health Records feature in iOS to cover one of the larger groups in the US: namely, veterans. The company is partnering with the Department of Veterans Affairs to make soldiers' medical info available in one place on their iPhones, including known conditions, prescriptions and procedures. It's the record-sharing system "of its kind" at Veterans Affairs, Apple said. Access to veteran data will be available "soon," Apple noted, although it didn't say if that would be tied to an iOS update. Support for veterans is coming soon after Apple teamed up with Aetna on a health tracking app, and reflects a larger strategy at the tech giant.
Very few things qualify for removal from Google's search results, and according to Bloomberg, that list just grew by one. The tech titan has apparently begun purging personal medical records from results pages -- Google didn't make a big announcement about it, but a new line on its Removal Policies website confirms the new rule. Under the section marked "Information we may remove," there's a new entry that says "confidential, personal medical records of private people." Google might have begun working on the category's addition after an unfortunate event in December that exposed the sensitive medical condition of a massive number of people.
The contract with Cerner came after former VA Secretary David Shulkin announced the proposed change last June, saying he would bypass a competitive contract bidding process in an effort to sign a deal as quickly as possible. But talks stalled in December amid concerns from Shulkin that the company would not be able to effectively exchange a patient's medical records with doctors outside the VA system who provide care under the Choice program.
Apple's Health Records API is now open to developers. First announced in January, Apple has pitched the Health Records feature as a way to give consumers a hand-held electronic medical records (EMR) system that aggregates patient data into one view on the iPhone. ALSO SEE: Apple can win electronic medical record game with Health Records in iOS 11.3: Here's 7 reasons why With the API now available, the Cupertino tech giant said developers can build health apps with individualized experiences tailored to a user's health history across key categories, including medication tracking, disease management, nutrition planning and medical research. More than 500 hospitals and clinics are allowing patients to access their medical information through Apple's Health Records program. According to Apple, all health records data is encrypted on the iPhone and passcode protected.