Apple has followed up on its launch of Apple Health Records at 39 health systems with the announcement of a Health Records API that will allow developers to create apps that can, with permission, use data from patients’ electronic health records.

“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,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said in a statement.

“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.”

The first integration that’s been announced is with medication tracking and adherence app Medisafe. Using the Health Records API, Medisafe users at participating health systems will now be able to import their prescription lists, making it easier to get started with the app, to set reminders, and to catch problematic drug-drug interactions.

[Read more: The pace of revolution accelerates as 39 US hospitals integrate Apple Health Records | The titan enters the race: Apple to launch Health Records app with HL7's FHIR specifications at 12 hospitals]

Other use cases Apple offered up include disease management — a diabetes management app could draw in patients’ lab data to better inform its recommendations — and nutrition – where access to cholesterol and blood pressure scores could help improve meal planning. Additional specific integrations have yet to be announced.

Apple also sees potential for further improving 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,” Apple wrote in a release coinciding with its WWDC developer conference.

“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.”

At the WWDC opening keynote on Tuesday, Apple mostly shied away from healthcare, but did include a number of fitness-related announcements around the Apple Watch. Further updates on HealthKit, ResearchKit, and CareKit are expected at future sessions.

Originally published on Mobihealthnews, a sister publication of HITNA.

TAGS: Apple

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