Stanford iPhone App Connects to HealthKit, EHRs

MyHealth connects directly with Epic’s electronic health records (HER), Apple’s HealthKit and cloud services for consumer health data monitoring.

health it and mobile apps

Stanford Health Care announced its iOS 8 MyHealth mobile app for patients, which was developed in-house by Stanford Health Care (SHC) engineers.

Led by Aditya Bhasin, executive director of software at SHC, the multidisciplinary project team included developers and designers plus members from marketing to work with patients and focus groups to better understand their needs.

"We built the app to create a unique experience for Stanford Health Care patients and members, making the most important features and information easy to access, with the flexibility to add custom capabilities such as those supporting our new ClickWell Care services," Dr. Pravene Nath, chief information officer for Stanford Health Care, told eWEEK.. "It was important to us that the app should support full connectivity with our electronic health records, so that the transitions from online interactions to physical visits are smooth and seamless across that continuum."

Nath noted this is the first release of this software. The plan is to build a lot of new features and capabilities in each future release.

MyHealth, for use on the iPhone or iPad, connects directly with Epic’s electronic health records (EHR), Apple’s HealthKit and cloud services for consumer health data monitoring.

"Consumers clearly want to use technology to connect their lives with their healthcare in a personalized way. We've found that the patients who use this technology when they interact with us, have measurably higher satisfaction," Nath explained. "Ease of use is very important, and we need to balance accessibility with security and privacy. Overall, interacting with the health care system is too complicated, and we believe this is an important step in our journey to simplify that complexity."

The mobile app is designed to make it easier for patients to manage their care from their iPhones. It lets patients review test results and medical bills, manage prescriptions, schedule appointments, and conduct video visits with a Stanford physician.

"We had to make a real commitment to this, and have leadership consensus to differentiate through the software supporting online and mobile experiences," Nath said. "This meant understanding that we would be in the business of making software, and owning that complexity, which includes recruiting top-notch engineers and designers in a very competitive market. Lastly, we have a terrific partnership with Epic, our EHR vendor, and that partnership was critical to making this happen."

The free app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, and is available for current Stanford Health Care patients with a MyHealth account. Existing SHC patients that do not have a MyHealth account can sign up through the organization’s website.

The app also supports Stanford Health Care’s new ClickWell Care, which delivers the services of a Stanford primary care physician online, combined with customized wellness coaching from a dedicated SHC certified personal trainer and online review of home health data.