Health app data Share with Provider FAQ
What is this feature?
The Apple Health app gives users a central and secure location to store health and fitness data, and empowers users to better understand and manage their health. In 2018, Apple launched Health Records, which allows Health app users to securely download, aggregate, and view their available health records from participating healthcare organizations. With iOS 15 or iPadOS 17, users can choose to share select Health app data with their doctor and other healthcare providers at participating U.S. healthcare organizations. The purpose of this feature is to enable users to share their Health app data (such as sensor data, clinical health records data, and self-reported data) with their healthcare providers, allowing providers to easily review user-provided health data, and potentially facilitate richer conversations.
How does this work for patients of participating healthcare organizations?
Users choose which healthcare organizations they want to share their Health app data with, from a list of participating healthcare organizations in the Health app. Users explicitly select the data categories they want to share and authenticate using their patient portal credentials to enable this sharing. After a user is authenticated, the selected data is encrypted and uploaded securely to a designated cloud server (“Health Sharing Cloud”). From there, it’s downloaded, decrypted, and viewed in an Apple-designed web application (“web app”) accessible from inside the EHR’s patient chart.
Can Apple view the Health app data shared by users through this feature?
No, Health app data transmitted through this feature and stored in the Health Sharing Cloud is encrypted end-to-end with the healthcare organization. Apple does not maintain or have access to the encryption key used to encrypt a user’s Health app data and cannot access or view any Health app data stored in the Health Sharing Cloud.
What standards platform is Apple using for this feature?
Apple is using the standards-based SMART on FHIR platform, which enables provider-facing apps within the EHR system. Apple also requires the implementation of a feature within the EHR system that enables true end-to-end encryption.
What data can users share with participating organizations?
The Health app securely compiles health information from iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and a wide variety of third-party apps and connected devices, so users can review their health data in a central location. Users can select and share available data categories in the Health app with healthcare organizations. The data available for users to choose to share includes data they have authorized to write into HealthKit from HealthKit-compatible devices, self-reported data, and clinical health records that users have downloaded to their iOS or iPadOS device from participating healthcare organizations through Health Records. For example, users may choose to share activity data (such as exercise minutes and steps), heart rate, ECG and blood pressure data, irregular rhythm notifications, menstrual cycle data, sleep data, lab records, and immunizations.
How frequently is the data updated?
After a user elects to share portions of their Health app data with a participating organization, any new data collected in the Health app is automatically uploaded to Apple’s Health Sharing Cloud approximately once every 24 hours, depending on factors such as whether the user’s iPhone or iPad is connected to the internet.
Who can view shared data?
An authorized individual (at the participating healthcare organization) may access the patient chart and view the Health app data that’s shared through this feature. Any time the web app is opened, the latest Health app data shared by the user is displayed in the web app.
Where can I learn more about the privacy and security of this feature?
How can providers incorporate the data that users share through this feature into the patient chart?
Data shared through this feature isn’t stored directly in the patient chart. Instead, providers can copy and paste summary text snippets of any relevant data into the patient chart using the Scratchpad feature that’s integrated as part of the web app designed by Apple. Any use of the Scratchpad feature must be based on a clinician’s independent, competent, and ethical medical judgment.
What happens if a user decides to stop sharing their Health app data through this feature?
A user can stop sharing their data at any time. If a user decides to stop sharing some or all of their Health app data through this feature, the data stored in the Health Sharing Cloud is deleted.
How can interested healthcare organizations participate?
Healthcare organizations should confirm their eligibility for participation with their EHR vendor, and then send an email to email@example.com to express their interest (U.S. only). To be eligible for this feature, institutions must participate in Health Records and accept the Health app data Share with Provider Addendum to their Health Records Directory Listing Agreement. They must also accept the Health app data Share with Provider HIPAA Business Associate Agreement. Apple doesn’t charge any fees for participating organizations to offer this feature to their patients.