Mass General Brigham expands patients’ digital access to health information

Woman on cellphone

Approximately three years ago, Mass General Brigham empowered patients to better manage their health by making Apple’s Health Records on iPhone available to those with iOS mobile devices. Today, we are excited to announce the expansion of this technology to patients with Android-based devices. 

Mass General Brigham has partnered with the non-profit public service, The Commons Project, to make the CommonHealth application available to patients across the system. Now, patients with Android-based devices who are enrolled in Mass General Brigham’s health portal Patient Gateway can also securely download, manage, and share their personal health information in one place. 

“Empowering patients to manage and share their own health information has great potential to improve patient engagement and patient understanding of their health,” says Dr. William Gordon, Director of Solution and Experience, Digital Care Transformation at Mass General Brigham and Associate Physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

These apps have been developed by clinicians, public health experts, technologists and scientists. Essentially, they work like hubs to securely connect disparate health information into one easily accessible space. For example, someone that sees providers across different healthcare organizations may want to see all of their electronic health information in one place.  CommonHealth or Apple Health Records on iPhone securely “plug-in” to different data sources and enable someone to aggregate, download, and share all of their health data—individuals determine what information they want to share, and with whom they want to share it. And they can change their permissions to remove any provider or any data type at any time. Data accessed and stored with these apps is not shared with any third-party without a user’s explicit consent. Currently, information flows one way only – from the electronic health record to the patient. Patients cannot use these apps to alter their data in Patient Gateway.

CommonHealth – available for download via Google Play – now allows Android device users a convenient and secure option to access, collect and store their lifelong health data on their mobile devices. CommonHealth extends the health data portability to the 52% of Americans using Android phones. 

“There has never been more need for people to safely access and manage their health data,” said Paul Meyer, CEO of The Commons Project. “With the acceleration of remote medicine and telehealth, patients and providers need easy access to their trusted health record data to make informed medical decisions.”

Mass General Brigham patients using iOS devices can access similar functionality using the Apple Health app. The app is available to patients with an iPhone running iOS 11.3 or later. 

“Together, the CommonHealth App and Apple Health Records make it possible for Mass General Brigham patients to securely carry their own health information with them, whether they have an Android device or iPhone,” says Dr. David Ting, Chief Digital Health Officer, Massachusetts General Hospital. 

“This multi-platform capability is wholly consistent with Mass General Brigham’s commitment to serving and engaging our patients with equity and sensitivity.  I’m excited for future possibilities in digital healthcare, building upon these two platforms.” 

Patients who would like to use these consumer health applications to access their health data must enroll themselves; a provider cannot do so on a patient’s behalf. 

Media Contact

Mass General Brigham:
Bridget Perry [email protected]      
                        

About Mass General Brigham

Mass General Brigham is an integrated academic healthcare system, uniting great minds in medicine to make life-changing impact for patients in our communities and people around the world. Mass General Brigham connects a full continuum of care across a system of academic medical centers, community and specialty hospitals, a health insurance plan, physician networks, community health centers, home care, and long-term care services. Mass General Brigham is a non-profit organization that is committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. In addition, Mass General Brigham is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information, please visit massgeneralbrigham.org.