The meeting will focus on efforts to push a rule change proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services that would promote medical data interoperability.
Ricky Bloomfield, a member of Apple’s health team who formerly served as Duke University’s Director of Mobile Strategy, will participate in the meeting by phone, according to a list of attendees published today [PDF].
Those who are in support of the change want to modernize patient access to data, as it continues to be common for medical facilities to provide health records via CD or Fax, which makes it difficult for people to switch providers and healthcare systems. From a PDF describing talking points for the meeting:
It’s imperative to note how important and time sensitive aggregated health information across multiple provider and health plan systems can be for patients going through catastrophic events. This information is essential for patients as they consider options such as treatment planning, consenting to surgical procedures, exploring and enrolling in clinical trials, and matters of continuity of care, examples including expediting an urgent second opinion, appealing insurance denials for standard of care treatments prescribed by patient’s board-certified physicians, as well as having all pertinent information when it comes to advance care planning, palliative care, and matters of end of life. Data access is a matter of patient safety, better outcomes, improved costs, and often life or death.
Apple has been working to make health data more accessible for patients with its Health Records feature that is designed to allow iOS users to access their medical records from participating hospitals and medical providers. Apple has partnered with hundreds of providers in the United States, allowing iPhone users to sync their medical data to the iOS Health app.