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(Credit: Lance Whitney)

Apple iOS users who want to access their medical records on their iPhone or iPad now stand a better chance of finding a participating provider.

SEE: 4 ways the iOS App Store has made life better since it launched 10 years ago

Launched in January as an add-on to Apple's Health app, Health Records delivers reports on your medications, lab tests, vital statistics, and other medical data directly to you in the app. The feature now supports 78 healthcare providers, a hefty jump from the 12 supported during the initial test phase. Updated on August 8, an Apple webpage shows the range of providers in many states across the country.

Viewing your medical records from different hospitals and healthcare providers can be a challenge, especially if they don't talk to each other. Apple's Health Records initiative aims to provide access to that information so you can view it all in one place. But the feature doesn't do you much good unless your hospitals and providers are on board, which is why the latest numbers are a promising sign.

To see if your hospitals participate in the program, open the Health app on your iOS device. Tap the icon for Health Data and then tap the entry for Health Records. At the Health Records screen, tap the Get Started button. The app shows suggestions for providers based on your location. Swipe down the list and tap a provider that you want to add. You're prompted to sign in with a username and password for that provider. Once you're set up, you should then be able to view your health records for that provider. You can add multiple providers to see your records across the board.

The list of providers supported by Health Records was updated ahead of a speech given by Apple's Clinical and Health Informatics Lead Ricky Bloomfield, M.D., according to VentureBeat. Speaking at the ONC's 2nd Interoperability Forum (as noted by EHR Intelligence), Bloomfield explained that for Health Records, Apple chose to adopt a standard called Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, which addresses how to share health data from different providers. Though FIHR is still in draft mode and won't be finalized until year's end, the goal is to bridge the gap between different healthcare systems to aggregate and provide medical records for viewing across a variety of electronic devices.

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Takeaways

  1. Apple's Health Records tool now supports 78 providers, up from 12 at the start of the year.
  2. Health Records tries to aggregate and provide health data from different hospitals and providers so users can access their data all in one place.

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Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books - "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time" and "Teach Yourself VISUALLY LinkedIn."