Apple will make health record data available to third-party apps on iOS devices, beginning this fall. The data, which will require user permission to access, will be kept private and entirely off of Apple's servers. But it could dramatically expand usefulness of health-focused apps on the platform.

Earlier this year, Apple launched a Health Records service to increase the portability of health records and make them available across participating hospitals and clinics. The idea was to allow patients to download their health records to iOS devices and then easily share them with other practitioners.

health records api

The new Health Records API would allow certain parts of user health records to be accessed by apps, with data flowing directly from iPhones and iPads to the apps, with no user health data ever flowing to Apple's servers.

Apple listed a number of examples for this service, showcasing the potential for the iPhone to literally save lives — something that Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly referred to in the past.

  • Medisafe, which helps users remember when to take their medication, will connect with Health Records so user's prescription drugs can be transferred to the app without manual entry. This will make creating medication reminders easier, and could warn patients of drug interactions because the entire medication roster will (theoretically) be listed in-app.

  • Diabetes-management apps could access lab results and combine them with eating and exercise data to help users better manage their disease.

  • A healthy eating app could custom-design meal plans based on cholesterol or blood pressure data.

  • "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 has been working for years to better organize health data and to assist users in being healthier. Tim Cook, a fitness and health enthusiast himself, has discussed the potential of Apple's devices to help users get healthier on numerous occasions — and Apple's own health-focused aspirations have been documented for more than a half-decade.

Top Rated Comments

macduke Avatar
52 months ago
FaceBook will suddenly start scrambling to make a “health” app so they can have a reason to get people to hand over this information. Mark my words.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Maclver Avatar
52 months ago
What app is in the screenshot??!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
52 months ago
As someone who fortunately doesn't see a doctor very often, when I do, the experience is so jarring in how it feels like you're suddenly transported decades in to the past.

Your doctor goes into a file cabinet, pulls out your charts, reads over your history and writes in them in pen. When tests are ordered, he fills out a piece of paper and faxes it to a lab where you go to get your tests done and then wait several days, sometimes weeks for the results to be produced and mailed to your doctor who then makes a phone call to you to come see the results. If you ever want to see your record, you call your doctor who makes you book an appointment to discuss your record and charges you a fee for it. Seriously, what is this? The 1970's?

My health records are my health records. I should have access to up-to-date versions of them at all times, whenever I wish to see them. Going to the doctor, they should be able to pull up your record on an iPad and any notes they make, you should be able to see on your iPhone. If you get tests done, those test results should show up in your record. If you're on medication, your doctor will have added it to your file and your pharmacy will get the prescription. If you become ill, an emergency worker can check your phone's Medical ID for your known conditions and any medication you're on.

The experience of dealing with the medical field should not feel like it's decades behind in an era where we all carry powerful personal computers in our pockets.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
scrapesleon Avatar
52 months ago
not liking this idea
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
apple music

Apple Increases Apple Music Subscription Price for Students in Several Countries

Sunday May 22, 2022 1:57 am PDT by
Apple has silently increased the price of its Apple Music subscription for college students in several countries, with the company emailing students informing them their subscription would be slightly increasing in price moving forward. The price change is not widespread and, based on MacRumors' findings, will impact Apple Music student subscribers in but not limited to Australia, the...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...