Apple opens Health Records API to developers

Yesterday was quite a busy day for those in the Apple world. The company unveiled three new major software updates, each with new features hidden beneath.

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Considering that WWDC 2018 is still taking place, Apple is not done with the announcements. The company has now released its Health Records API to developers and researchers.

This will hopefully allow developers to create “an ecosystem of apps”. These apps will use the Health Records data to better manage the following:

  • Medications
  • Nutrition Plans
  • Diagnosed Diseases

Currently, Health Records makes it possible for patients to access medical information on their iPhone. This is done with the help of more than 500 hospitals, clinics, and other institutions.

With this new Health Records API, you will be able to share your medical records from different hospitals. This will work with the help of some trusted applications while aiming to help you.

If there is any concern about privacy, Apple has you covered there too. All of your Health Records data is encrypted on your iPhone with the help of your passcode.

Whenever you want to share your data with a third party app, your information stays secure. The data will move from HealthKit directly to the third-party application.

“Individual Experiences”

On the developer side of things, Apple is making it possible for apps to “individualize experiences”. The following categories are what will be used to provide this experience:

  • Medication Tracking: Medisafe, a medication management app, will connect with the Health Records feature so consumers can easily import their prescription list without manual entry, quickly enabling pill reminders and allowing the user to receive relevant medication information. Medisafe will be able to warn patients of problematic drug-drug interactions because they have the comprehensive view of the patient’s exact medication list from several hospitals and clinics.
  • Disease Management: A diabetes app could access a patient’s lab results from their Health Records as well as their diet and exercise details through the existing iOS HealthKit integration, allowing for a more complete picture of the consumer and the best ways to encourage them to stay on track.
  • Nutrition Planning: A healthy eating app could offer consumers tailored programs based on their high blood pressure or cholesterol results by serving up low salt or high fiber meal plans.
  • Medical Research: With the new Health Records API, doctors can integrate patient medical data into their ResearchKit study apps for a more complete view of their participants’ health background. Traditionally, researchers used arduous survey questionnaires to determine pre-existing conditions, which puts the burden on the patient to remember the details. Now, with the participants’ approval, researchers can access that patient-specific information to ensure more comprehensive research. This integration continues Apple’s commitment to providing the medical community with ResearchKit tools that could further their discoveries.

Apple has opened this new Health Records API to developers now. It’s extremely likely that we will begin seeing new health-focused apps launched sometime this Fall.

Let us know what you think about this new API and if you think it will be beneficial in the long run.

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