An iPhone feature allowing users to view and store their medical records on their smartphone is being introduced to the UK.
Health Records sits within the Health app on iPhones, which was first announced by Apple in January 2018 and is currently supported by more than 500 institutions in the US.
In the UK, it is limited to Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust at present, though Apple said there are plans to add more medical facilities in the coming months.
The tech giant has assured users that Health Records is secure and “privacy protected at all times” using encryption between the device and the healthcare organisation, as well as requiring a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID.
Matthew Gould, chief executive of NHSX, the health service’s innovation arm, said: “The launch of Health Records on iPhone in the UK is a positive step and joins a number of initiatives across the NHS to put patients in the driving seat.”
It is the first time Health Records has been launched outside of the US since it debuted.
Three Canadian hospitals have also begun support at the same time as the UK.
“Improving our services to patients while protecting their privacy and security is of paramount importance to us,” said Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery, chair of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
“This exciting development provides a more convenient option for patients to access their health records.
“Patients retain control over their own health information at all times.”
Kevin Lynch, Apple’s vice president of technology, added: “We designed Health Records on iPhone to empower people to easily view their health records at any time, and we are thrilled to put this feature in the hands of customers in the UK and Canada.”