Apple opens Health Records API to developers: 4 things to know

Apple opened its iPhone-based health records feature to developers and researchers so they can create apps that use health record data to help users better manage medications, nutrition plans and diagnosed diseases.

Here are four things to know:

1. In January, Apple unveiled a new iPhone feature that lets patients at more than 500 participating hospitals and clinics store their patient information on their iPhones.

2. Now, consumers can choose to make their encrypted data available to third-party app developers, who will leverage that information to build new tools such as medication tracking, nutrition planning or medical research.

3. Developers will use a Health Records application programming interface to build the tools, and then, with users' permission, individualize the experiences based on users' health history and information.

4. Users must consent to sharing any data, and that data will be sent through Apple's HealthKit, not Apple's servers.

"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," said Apple COO Jeff Williams. "With the Health Records API open to our incredible community of developers and researchers, consumers can personalize their health needs with the apps they use every day."

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