Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Google works with Cornell on Health Data app

William Payne
September 19, 2019


Google is working with Cornell University, the University of California San Francisco, and the Commons Project to give Android a patient smartphone app that will provide user access to patient records.

The four organisations are working to develop CommonHealth, an open-source, non-profit public service designed to make it easy and secure for people to collect their electronic health record data and share it with health apps and partners that have demonstrated their trustworthiness. 

CommonHealth will build on data interoperability standards, including HL7 FHIR, to offer functionality analogous to Apple Health to users of Android.

CommonHealth is being piloted at UCSF and select academic medical centres and health systems.

"Apple has shown real leadership and moved the industry forward by enabling patient access to their health information. Now CommonHealth is significantly expanding the number of people who can benefit from easy electronic access to their health records," said JP Pollak, the CommonHealth product lead, Senior Researcher in Residence at Cornell Tech and Assistant Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine.

The personal health data aggregated through CommonHealth may also be used to improve digital therapeutics and diagnostics, biomedical research, and patient care, as described by UCSF Professor of Medicine Ida Sim in the New England Journal of Medicine, issue dated September 12th..

To ensure patient privacy and promote trust, the CommonHealth partners are implementing a robust governance model that will review and approve all apps and partners connecting to CommonHealth.

"UCSF is committed to using technology to improve care for all of our patients," said Russ Cucina, Chief Health Information Officer for UCSF Health. "The CommonHealth project will ensure that more of our patients have access to their health information, and that they can share it responsibly with the growing health technology sector."

"The upcoming launch of CommonHealth will unlock a wealth of opportunities for the developer and research communities, helping them to conduct more inclusive studies and deliver personal health management tools," said Deborah Estrin, Associate Dean for Impact at Cornell Tech and co-founder of Open mHealth.