Apple Gives Developers Power to Create Apps for Patients With the New Health Records API

Apple presented an application programming interface (API) which app developers could use to make health apps combining patients’ EHR data. Using the Apple Health Records app, patients can add their EHR data, then they can share the data with third-party apps.

The objective of the new API is to allow developers to make a variety of apps which are useful to patients in looking after their own health. The first applications which is going to be created will be accessible in the fall when the iOS 12 will be released and patients could use it start viewing EHR data should they allow the app.

Medisafe is one application that may be used with EHR data through the Apple Health Records app. With this app, downloading prescription lists and scheduling reminders for medication intake can be done. The application additionally offers notifications on potential dangerous interactions involving medications.

Apple is hoping to have applications that will help patients manage their own medical conditions. With EHR data access, certain apps can provide more exact and valuable advice. Applications related to nutrition is invaluable for meal planning along with data of blood sugar level and cholesterol level readings. The API likewise enables patients to share with researchers their health data with ease.

Apple does not like categorizing itself as a business associate and so Apple makes sure that protected health information doesn’t go through its servers. When users download their EHR data to the Apple Health Records app, the EHR provider share encrypted info directly to the user’s iPhone. Therefore, PHI doesn’t go through or get stored on Apple’s servers. In case the user chooses to share any information to third-party applications, the information moves from his iPhone direct to the third-party application.

Patients’ sensitive data, including the EHRs, is kept securely in the Apple Health Records App. Even so, Apple doesn’t guarantee the security of third-party apps. Patients using the health application should therefore examine the policies of any third party application prior to using with any health data.

Application developers utilizing the new Health Records API should have data privacy and security settings set up. Though apps may not be restricted by HIPAA Rules, highly sensitive data is involved and proper security measures should be in place to protect the privacy of that information.