When Apple HealthKit was announced, we noted the high hopes experts in the industry expressed for the platform to begin the process of moving towards a universal electronic health record (EHR).

That notion was supported by Apple’s partnership with Epic Systems, the single largest EHR software vendor in the US. Epic recently made a move to further the universal EHR goal by linking their MyChart app to Apple Health. MyChart provides patients access to their medical records, including lab results and immunization records. It also allows patients to manage bills appointments.

And now, patients will be able to feed data directly into their own medical records, accessible by their doctors, through Apple Health. Health trackers recording data such steps taken or medical monitors checking blood pressure and other health stats can now sync with MyChart in this way. For patients to be able to set up the app to input their data automatically, the provider using Epic must enable the Track My Health feature, according to iMedicalApps.

As more apps and devices are tied into HealthKit, the breadth of information available through Health will grow. Eventually, it will likely cover all types of commonly used health-related data.

It is also likely, in the future, to allow users to receive and input their own data from third-party medical facilities. For example, some hospitals currently give patients a CD or DVD containing their magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. The patient is then expected to bring that disc to their doctor. With the ability to accept third-party data already built in for Health, it would be a small step for MyChart to add a feature to take in this type of data through the patient’s mobile device as well.  

Though Epic is just one of the many EHR vendors, it is the largest by a significant margin. As of March, 20% those attesting to EHR Meaningful Use were on Epic software (Allscripts, the runner-up, had only 10.7% market share). But their share of the population is even more impressive; as of September of 2013, Epic announced that their software was being used for health records for 51% of Americans.

That means that 51% of Americans could potentially soon be able to contribute to their own medical records through a mobile device.

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