The medical information available will include allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals. The information is encrypted and protected through a user's iPhone passcode.
"Apple doesn't see the data unless the consumer chooses to share it," Williams said.
Regulators and patient advocates have for years pushed for data-sharing standards within the medical sector to make it easier for records to flow between hospitals and doctors' offices. The lack of interoperability has made it a challenge for consumers to access high-quality care and has led to unnecessary medical errors.
While I'm fortunate enough to not have any major medical issues and tend to visit my doctor once or twice a year for minor illnesses, having direct and immediately up-to-date personal medical information from a health care provider directly available on my iPhone and Apple Watch is exciting, convenient, and futuristic.
How this works out for people who have doctors with smaller practices (like myself) remains to be seen. Apple is a large enough and influential company that it can make a major push for this to become a popular industry-wide standard.
Apple's focus on making their customer's day-to-day and long term health data more visible, organized, and readily available to them, while keeping it all secure and private, is fantastic.