June 3, 2013

Interchange open API unleashes power of digital health

Secure and easy connection to Kaiser Permanente will produce better health apps for 9.1 million members and beyond.

InterchangeSM by Kaiser PermanenteInterchangeSM by Kaiser Permanente Developer Website

WASHINGTON, D.C. Kaiser Permanente announced today the launch of its first application programming interface program, Interchange SM by Kaiser Permanente. The secure program enables easy collaboration between Kaiser Permanente and application developers to improve health care and health-related experiences in ways that never before have been possible.

Keeping patient information private and secure is a top priority at Kaiser Permanente and personal health information will not be made available externally via API technology. Interchange makes information that is already in the public domain accessible in a more efficient way, enabling app development outside of Kaiser Permanente, thereby benefiting consumers in the form of a broader variety of apps.

“We’re excited to see what developers come up with as we open up secure, public data sets,” said Phil Fasano, executive vice president and chief information officer, Kaiser Permanente. “Imagine being able to download a mobile app so customized that it shows you nearby restaurants that cater to your healthy lifestyle and offers food suggestions based on the amount of activity you have completed in the last week, your nutrition plan and friends' reviews. Once you've finished your meal, a device synced to your app reports your blood-sugar levels and reminds you to pick up insulin, then tells you the nearest Kaiser Permanente pharmacy where you can pick it up. Interchange by Kaiser Permanente is the beginning of that possibility.”

InterchangeSM by Kaiser Permanente Unleashes the Power of Digital Health Through Open API

Initially, Interchange by Kaiser Permanente will make the health care provider’s public facility and location information available for third-party developers to integrate into apps. This includes location, hours of operation and specialty information for Kaiser Permanente's 37 hospitals and more than 600 medical offices.

An API is an interface with pieces of code that allow applications to communicate with each other. They are crafted to expose only chosen data while safeguarding other parts of the application. Application developers use APIs to create integrated apps that provide a seamless and more dynamic user experience.

By providing developers with an easy and secure connection to Kaiser Permanente’s public data, Interchange by Kaiser Permanente will shorten development time, support quality apps that are accurate and effective, and expand the variety of health-management apps available to consumers, allowing them to use what aligns with their lifestyles. Visit interchange.kp.org for more information about the API.

An example of a commonly used API is foursquare®. The foursquare API is used by Instagram©, Vine©, Evernote®, Garmin®, Uber© and other applications to integrate location data into their services.

Health Datapalooza IV

Kaiser Permanente will kick off the launch of Interchange by Kaiser Permanente with a code-a-thon June 5-6 in Washington, D.C., during Health Data and Innovation Week. Developers will be invited to create apps using Kaiser Permanente public facility and location information.

“The potential of Interchange by Kaiser Permanente is limited only by our imaginations,” said Fasano. “As we release new data sets and begin to harness device-generated data, there is potential to see a new era of hyper-personalized, patient-centered apps that will change the way our members and communities engage in their health.”

Future plans for Interchange by Kaiser Permanente include enabling developers to create apps that leverage activity-based data from tracking devices. If a member chooses to securely share his or her activity information through Interchange by Kaiser Permanente, developers can create lifestyle apps that integrate with the Kaiser Permanente location API or other health apps. Kaiser Permanente is also exploring making public research publications available through Interchange by Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente views its API as a tool to further empower members to manage their health and more deeply engage the broader community. Currently, more than 4 million members use Kaiser Permanente’s My Health Manager on kp.org to manage their health and connect with their providers. The mobile app version of My Health Manager has been downloaded more than half a million times on iPhone and Android devices.

Kaiser Permanente mobile apps

Kaiser Permanente is known for its leadership in the use of health information technology and its electronic health record, Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®, is the largest non-governmental medical record system in the world. KP HealthConnect enables all of Kaiser Permanente’s 17,000 physicians to electronically access the medical records more than 9.1 million Kaiser Permanente members nationwide and serves as a model for other care systems.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 9.1 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.