The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Patient Engagement Playbook

Chapter 6

APIs and other health IT

In this chapter

Learn how to:

There are a growing number of patient-facing mobile applications and online tools designed to give patients access to their health information. These tools and apps can help patients:

  • Effectively manage chronic conditions
  • Participate in research
  • Share data with clinicians in real time
  • Take a more active role in their health care

One way for patients to access their EHR data is through an Application Programming Interface (API). The availability of APIs enables third-party app developers to connect patients' EHR data to new types of applications and online tools.

By enabling third-party API access to data from your EHR when patients request it, you can help empower your patients to use these innovative tools to support their health goals.

Yale Center for Clinical Investigation/Hugo | From the field

Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI) is collaborating with HUGO, a health data platform which gives patients seamless access to their electronic medical record — as well as data from other health systems and wearables or other devices — through the use of APIs.

Hugo app screenshot
Hugo app

Patients in the YCCI studies can use the Hugo app to aggregate their data from many types of EHRs. This puts patients in control of their data, allowing them to easily review their medical history, become partners in clinical research, and engage with researchers by responding to simple surveys via secure transmissions.

“We are just now scratching the surface of what will be possible with Hugo and this kind of patient empowerment. By enabling people to be active partners in research, we are accelerating progress towards a new generation of breakthroughs and a 21st century learning health system.”

— Allen L. Hsiao, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer, Yale School of Medicine & Yale New Haven Health

Chapter 6 Recap

Improve clinical decision-making by leveraging technologies to:

  • Use APIs to help patients access their data and take an active role in their health

Join the conversation.

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Content last updated on: May 30, 2018