New strides in optimizing Electronic Health Records have to lead to major tech companies offering their services in healthcare. The transition from paper charting to digital records will be made easier with these recent trends.  

Electronic Health Records are a system that maintains and gathers a patient’s comprehensive health report. Apple is working with a number of hospitals, UNC Hospitals included, to create an mobile app that will give patients more access to their health records pertaining to allergies, medications, conditions, immunizations, and lab results. Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources specification will be used to integrate data from EHRs to mobile devices.

Epic, a healthcare software company that deals with EHR, has set up an initiative called One Virtual System Worldwide that will enable its customers to exchange health data with other vendors’ health records platforms. The initiative is broken into 3 parts; Come Together, Happy Together, and Working Together. In the first stage, Come Together, data is gathered; the second stage, Happy Together, data is shared to the consumer-level in easily understood formats; the third stage, Working Together, data-driven decisions are made by other organizations. Data sharing is important because this ensures that patients get the best treatment more efficiently.

Another trend in electronic health records is combining precision medicine, genomics, and EHR systems. By incorporating genomic functionality in EHR systems, clinicians are able to navigate directly in the EHR system in order to recommend therapies. The eMERGE network is helping to prepare precision medicine in EMRs. eMERGE is a network funded by the NHGRI (National Human Genome Research Institute) that combines DNA repositories with EMR systems so there is an integration of genomic research and implementing it in genomic medicine.

ClinGen is another NHGRI project that centralizes resources pertaining to clinical relevance of genes and variants that can be used in precision medicine. With these added functionalities in EMR/EHR systems, medical professionals are able to treat their patients more individualistically.