UCSF is the First Health System Available in CommonHealth App


Ida Sim, MD, PhD, co-director of the Informatics and Research Innovation (IRI) program at CTSI and professor of Medicine, shares insights on the CommonHealth project and app. CTSI provided funding support to pilot the app at UCSF.

CommonHealth is an Android app similar in function to Apple Health. It is designed to make it easy for people to securely collect their electronic health record data and share it with their other providers and health apps that have demonstrated their trustworthiness. As of 2018, Apple gave Apple Health app users the capability to download their health data from their electronic health record (EHR). Until now, Android users, which make up of 52% of the US smartphone market and are often more cost-driven consumers, lacked an equivalent platform. CommonHealth fills that void.

Why did you get involved with the CommonHealth project?

I got involved with the effort really as an equity issue for research and patient care. CommonHealth was built by The Commons Project, a 501c3 non-profit public trust supported by The Rockefeller Foundation. The Commons Project provides digital services and products with the public’s interests in mind: people’s right to privacy and control of their data. “Digital public good” is one way to put it. I think there’s an important role for non-profit digital infrastructure services to support vibrant commercial markets like app ecosystems, but also build in a trust fabric that promotes and supports data interoperability in science and equity in clinical care. The Commons Project has been a terrific partner.