Blog Post

The CommonHealth Software Development Kit

Nov 7, 2023

The CommonHealth Software Development Kit

CommonHealth, one of our public services, helps you collect and manage your health data and share it with the services, organizations and apps you trust. From the beginning, CommonHealth was built with the intent to not just provide people with access to their records, but to create an ecosystem of health technology innovation.

As we head into a promising new era of AI-driven digital health tools, these new services need access to comprehensive health data to best serve the people using them. Getting access to health data and EHR data in particular, however, is time-consuming and costly. As our solution, we provide a CommonHealth Software Development Kit (SDK) that works in ways very similar to Apple’s HealthKit. Android applications running on a person’s mobile phone can request access to data stored securely in CommonHealth, so long as the user agrees to share.

Here is how it works:

  • Once any digital health app is installed, a telehealth app for instance, the app asks the user whether they consent to share their health records via CommonHealth.
  • With the user’s initial consent, CommonHealth then reconfirms what data will be shared, with which app, and for what purpose.
  • Once permission is granted, the telehealth app can obtain records for as long as the user allows.

The privacy and security of our users’ information is of primary importance to us. Our policy requires that applications wishing to connect with CommonHealth sign and follow the CARIN Alliance code of conduct before they can request data in production. This code of conduct is meant to provide consumers with transparency into how their information is being used by utilizing a combination of mechanisms including, at a minimum: secure storage, encryption of digital records both in transit and at rest, data-use agreements and contractual obligations, and accountability measures made available to the user. 

For developers interested in getting started with our developer toolkit, click here for further information.