Apple appear to be making medical moves.
In the latest “this could be amazing but no it’s probably not but oh wait yes it might be headline,” reports have surfaced that Apple might be engaged in some top-secret research and acquisitions that will someday enable your iPhone to store your complete medical records. No, they don’t mean that current Health app that tracks your fitness or your activity level, they mean the surgeries you’ve had, the actual results and images from your MRI last year, and more.
All data in one place
So here’s how “this could be amazing”: You may have the opportunity soon to open an app and find all your health data. It might sound pretty vapid to think that you could “forget” when you saw your doctor last or when your last heart cath procedure was, but it does happen, especially for procedures that don’t happen routinely.
So many risks
But it also falls into the realm of “but no it’s probably not”: Where do we even begin to describe the privacy violations, data breach potential, and possibility of ransomware like no one has ever seen? Medical information is so private that hospital that suffer a ransomware attack by outside hackers are still on the hook for the HIPAA violations, just for not securing the information better. Uber’s long-plagued former CEO Travis Kalanik finally resigned after it came to light that he knew another executive had accessed a woman’s medical records. Yeah, they’re a big deal. And that means that once hackers know your complete file is stored inside your phone, then the global pool of Apple devices just became one of the hottest cybertickets in the world.
But “oh wait yes it might be” still a good thing: Apple has a pretty good track record of making somewhat impenetrable devices (just ask the FBI and the San Bernardino Police Department). More importantly, their effort is aimed at solving a daily crisis for individuals worldwide – as opposed to a potential tech nightmare that could affect some people – and that’s the inability for medical offices and hospitals to effectively communicate with each other. You run the risk of a hacker finding out you had a face lift a few years ago, but you also skip the risk of a hospital emergency room not knowing you had a childhood kidney transplant and take anti-rejection drugs. One of the threats to your safety might happen to you and could cause some legal headaches, but the other one is a life threatening danger that the medical industry has been trying to solve for years.