Apple launches its Health Records API to developers and researchers
Apple has recently announced its decision to launch a Health Records API for developers and researchers, which will enable the development of a new ecosystem of apps that use health record data to better manage medications, nutrition plans, diagnosed diseases and more.
The Health Records feature allows patients of more than 500 hospitals and clinics to access medical information from various institutions organised into one view on their iPhone. For the first time, consumers will be able to share medical records from multiple hospitals with their favourite trusted apps, helping them improve their overall health.
“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,” explained Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer.
“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.”
However, to mitigate any potential healthcare beaches of confidential information, all health records data will be encrypted and protected under the consumer’s iPhone passcode. When consumers choose to share their health record data with trusted apps, the data flows directly from HealthKit to the third-party app and is not sent to Apple’s servers, providing further security.
Whilst patients can access their medical records in one view, developers building health apps can individualise experiences with the user’s permission, based on the user’s unique health history across key categories, including:
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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 programmes 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
Jvion launches AI-powered map to tackle mental health crisis
Clinical AI company Jvion has launched an interactive map of the US that highlights areas that are most vulnerable to poor mental health.
The Behavioral Health Vulnerability Map uses Jvion's AI CORE™ software to analyse public data on social determinants of health (SDOH) and determine the vulnerability of every US Census block group.
Vulnerability refers to the likelihood that residents will experience issues like self-harm, suicide attempts or overdoses. The map also identifies the most influential social determinants in each region, to show the social and environmental conditions that contribute to mental illness.
As an example, the map shows that Harrison County in Mississippi has a 50% higher suicide rate than the rest of the state. It also shows a high percentage of individuals in the armed forces at a time when active duty suicides are at a six-year high, along with a high prevalence of coronary artery disease, arthritis, and COPD, all chronic illnesses that are linked to a higher suicide risk.
The map also shows Harrison County has a high percentage of Vietnamese Americans, who studies suggest have high rates of depression and may be less likely to seek help from mental health professionals.
The map was built using the same data and analytics that Jvion used to create the COVID Community Vulnerability Map, which was launched towards the start of the pandemic.
With this new map, Jvion is aiming to tackle the growing mental health crisis in the US. “At a time when so many Americans are struggling with their mental health, we’re proud to offer a tool that can help direct treatment resources to the communities that need it most,” said Dr John Showalter, MD, Jvion’s chief product officer, who led the development of the map.
“For too long, the healthcare industry has struggled to address social determinants of health, particularly in the context of behavioural health. Our hope is that by surfacing the social and environmental vulnerabilities of America’s communities, we can better coordinate our response to the underlying conditions that impact the health and wellbeing of people everywhere.”