Apple gives developers access to Health Records API for improved consumer health care

  • TECH
  • Tuesday, 05 Jun 2018

Apple announced on June 4 that with users' permission, researchers and developers will soon have access to Health Records. — AFP Relaxnews

Apple announced on June 4 that researchers and developers will soon have access to a Health Records API, allowing them to further health research and give US consumers a more individual experience.

The Health Records feature already allows patients of more than 500 hospitals and clinics in the United States to access their medical information from various institutions so it can be organised into one view on their iPhone.

With Apple's new move, for the first time consumers will be able to share their medical records with their favourite trusted apps, which, with their permission, will also become available to researchers and developers, helping users to improve their overall health.

Developers building health apps will be able to give a more personalised experience by accessing a user's unique health history across key categories such as Medisafe, a medication management app which will connect with the Health Records feature so users can easily import their prescription list from several hospitals and clinics, set pill reminders, and receive information from Medisafe about potential problems with drug interactions.

A diabetes app could also access a patient's lab results from their Health Records as well as their diet and exercise details for a fuller picture of health and how to manage the disease, while a healthy eating app could offer users tailored nutrition programmes based on their high blood pressure or cholesterol results to help improve the conditions.

Allowing researchers access to the new Health Records API, again with participants' approval, will also ensure more comprehensive research without the need to rely on survey questionnaires and patients' self-reports, which can be prone to error.

"Medical information may be the most important personal information to a consumer, and offering access to Health Records was the first step in empowering them. Now, with the potential of Health Records information paired with HealthKit data, patients are on the path to receiving a holistic view of their health," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer. "With the Health Records API open to our incredible community of developers and researchers, consumers can personalise their health needs with the apps they use every day." — AFP Relaxnews
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