Inside Apple's integration with Medisafe, the first test of the Apple Health Records API

By Jonah Comstock
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Yesterday’s announcement that Apple would open the API for Health Records in iOS 12 will likely spawn a whole host of integrations with digital health companies in the coming months. But one company has the distinction of being named in the announcement, and of having its Health Records integration already complete: Medisafe.

The Boston-based company has been making medication management and medication adherence software since 2012, when founder Omri Shor nearly lost his father to an insulin overdose.

“In that situation, my father had an iPhone 3G and we started thinking about how people can manage their medications [using mobile technology]. But we were also concerned as to how come his provider, his insurer, his pharma company, none of them had a solution that they were providing,” Shor told Babyforyou.net.ua. “So I think that one of the most important things in this announcement is the fact that patients, directly from the health records, can get their information into Medisafe. And that leads to ease of use and accuracy. You get exactly what the doctor prescribed; there’s no place for misinterpretation or any issues of that sort.”

The Medisafe integration shows how Apple Health Records is providing more than just EHR integration, which Medisafe has already been doing on a hospital-by-hospital basis.

“A real difference is [this integration] does not require us to sign documents with the hospital,” Shor said. “The approval process is simple. Because Apple is the middleware between the two of us, that does not require us to do all of those processes that we have to do with a hospital. And you know the signatures and processes, that is something that slows innovation dramatically.”

Importing medication lists via Health Records will allow patients at participating health systems — which now number in the 50s, up from 39 at launch — to import their medication lists from the EHR. This prevents errors where a patient might enter the wrong medication or the wrong dosage in the app. It also allows the list to update automatically when a patient’s prescription changes.

“You have a toggle inside Apple that will keep it always on,” Shor said. “The moment the physician switches you from one drug to another, Medisafe immediately gets a notification remind the user to change that. So no matter what changes in your regimen, you’re current and up to date throughout the entire process.”

The API is open to developers now, but the integrations that come out of it, including the Medisafe integration, won’t be open until iOS 12 launches, likely in September.

“I do believe that essentially what Apple is doing here is to really connect dots inside the healthcare system that were not connected, at scale,” Shor said. “So it might have been that we had an integration here and an integration there, but what Apple is doing completely opens the ecosystem. And I think the outcome of that over the next few years will be, simply put, saving the lives of patients.”

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