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Lifestyle

Organize all your health records with this built-in smartphone feature

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Apple and Android recently released their new mobile operating systems: iOS 16 and Android 13. The updates add important new security features to keep you safe. Tap or click here for details on how they work and how to switch them on.

Health apps track your steps, heart rate, sleep patterns and more. But they’re capable of so much more. You can add your health information to certain apps to keep all your records in one place and share them with your doctors. You can even track your medication.

These health apps are quite helpful if you have someone in your life with medical problems or an elderly family member who needs help keeping up with their medications and doctor appointments. Here’s how it works.

Add your health records to your iPhone

Participating doctors and hospitals can sign up with Apple’s Health Records feature to access patient data. You can share medical data with your healthcare providers, which is viewable on a dashboard.

This is useful for keeping your records handy whenever you need to access them, such as during a doctor’s visit. With the Health app, you can see all your health information — such as medications, immunizations and lab results — in one place.

Here’s how to add your health records to your iPhone:

  • Open the Health app and tap the Summary tab.
  • Tap your profile picture or initials in the upper-right corner.
  • Under Features, tap Health Records, then tap Get Started.
    • To add a provider, scroll down to Features, then tap Add Account.
  • You’re prompted to allow the Health app to use your location to find hospitals and health networks near you.
  • Search for your hospital or network, then tap it.
  • Under Available To Connect, choose an option.
  • Sign in to your healthcare provider’s website or app. You may be asked to save your password.
  • Wait for your records to update.
  • Repeat these steps for each supported provider.

After you add an institution, the Health app automatically updates your health records periodically. If there’s an issue with your health records, contact your provider. 

To view your health records:

  • Open the Health app and tap the Browse tab.
  • Under Health Records, tap a category.
  • Tap an item to see more information about it.

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Tracking your medications

After setting up your health data, you can add your medications to set a schedule and keep track of dosages. You can create a list to keep track of the medicines, vitamins and supplements you take

The app requires access to your camera and then scans the medication’s packaging. Unfortunately, not all medicines are currently listed, but there’s an option to search for them manually or look up the active ingredient.

Here’s how to track your medications:

  • Open the Health app and tap Browse at the bottom-right of your screen.
  • Select Medications, then tap Add a Medication.
  • To identify the medication, do one of the following:
    • Tap the text field, enter the name, then tap Add.
    • Tap the camera icon next to the text field and follow the onscreen instructions.
  • Follow the onscreen instructions to create a custom visual of the medication and to set a schedule.

To view your medications:

  • Open the Health app.
  • Tap Browse, then tap Medications. It displays a timeline at the top and a list of the medications you need to take that day.
  • Scroll to Your Medications, then tap a medication. 

Apple launched many new features with iOS 16, from secure passkey support to customizable lock screens. Tap or click here for five of our favorite iOS 16 additions.

The Android option for your health records

While there’s no built-in Android tool to store your medical records, Google partnered with The Commons Project last year to introduce SMART Health Cards. This lets Android users store digital versions of their COVID-19 vaccination records as a shortcut on their home screen.

The Commons Project is also the author of the CommonHealth app, which helps you collect and manage personal health data and share it with your healthcare providers and services you trust.

CommonHealth is connected to over 400 data sources, including the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and New York-Presbeterian. Once your provider is connected to CommonHealth, you can share your health records and data with apps and services vetted by CommonHealth for security and trustworthiness.

Go to commonhealth.org for more information. Tap the button below to download the app for Android.

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