While this release didn’t seem to see any stage time during the WWDC keynote today, Apple has just opened up its Health Records API to developers.
In a press release, Apple detailed the new API that’s available today. Aimed at health researchers along with developers, the Health Records API should spur all-new apps that will give end-users even better experiences with various doctors and hospitals.
Apple says this change will now make it possible for patients to “share medical records from multiple hospitals with their favorite trusted apps, helping them improve their overall health.”
The company notes that Health Records data is encrypted and protected by iPhone users’ passcodes. Also, none of this data is sent to Apple’s servers.
Developers will be able to create custom experiences with user permission based on health history using these sources:
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.
The Health Records API is available to developers now and consumers will start seeing new Health Apps that take advantage of it this fall.