Apple Health Records
In early June this year, Apple opened up its Health Records API to developers. This steps marks a logical progression in their HealthKit journey. The HealthKit toolkit allowed developers to read and write health data such as body measurements and heart rates that are either entered by the user or obtained from devices such as a paired Apple Watch.
The Health app also provides access to "Health Records". This feature allows the Health app to connect to participating medical providers to read your medical data. This data is what you would typically access by logging into your provider's patient portal. The significant leap is that Apple is able to aggregate data from multiple providers and present a coherent view of users' medical records.
How does this affect you, the developer? With the new Health Records API your app can also have access to the Health Records that are available through the Health App. The significance of this development cannot be overstated. As the Apple network of providers grows, this API will lead to a new class of apps that are able to analyze complete medical records, combine them with real-time data from wearables and provide meaningful health benefits.
The FHIR based architecture allows for constant updating of medical data keeping your Health Records API based app relevant to the user.
Apple has introduced a new "permission/allow" screen specifically to deal with Health Records where users have granular control over what data can be shared with third-party apps. Security and privacy are particularly important to this class of apps and it remains to be seen if there will be additional regulatory/App Store requirements to enforce good app design and behavior.