Epic Announces API To Integrate mHealth Data Into Its EHR

9-18-2013 10-04-31 PM

Epic announces a new API that will allow developers of health and wellness apps, medical devices, and activity trackers to push health data into the Epic EHR. Providers will be able to review and trend the data, using it to coach patients and hopefully improve outcomes. The announcement came during the Epic User Group Meeting, being held this week at the company’s Verona, WI headquarters.

If third-party developers get on board, the implications of the announcement could be significant both for the mHealth community and for healthcare in the US at large. With Apple, Samsung, and other consumer electronics manufacturers expanding the use of health sensors in smartphones and now smartwatches, a true data collection platform capable of mining and integrating health data from normal run-of-the-mill patients may be on the horizon.

Now, with the announcement of an API capable of collecting that data and moving it into the clinical space, nutritionists might have access to daily calorie counts and dietary habits, physical therapists could monitor exercise compliance, medication adherence would be more visible, and population health algorithms would gain access to key behavioral data about the overall population that would add a level of sophistication to risk profiling that is simply unavailable at this time.

The announcement generated more questions than answers. Which third-party developers will be first to integrate with Epic and how Epic envisions presenting the data to clinicians remain to be seen. There have been rumors circulating that Epic has been in talks with Withings, a digital health company that offers a variety of products including a wireless scale and an activity tracker.

We will follow the story.

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