The 21st Century Cures Act is a law that says patients should have easy access to their electronic health data. UCSF provides this through MyChart. If you have a MyChart account, you can also access your electronic health record (EHR) through third-party mobile applications.

These apps can help you track and manage your health. But unlike MyChart, they weren't created by UCSF and UCSF has no control over how much privacy and security they provide.

How to access your UCSF electronic health record

Possible benefits of accessing your UCSF health data through a third-party health app

  • Using a third-party app can be a convenient way to manage your health information. For example, you can use an app to track all your medications or other vital information, such as blood pressure or weight. Or, as in MyChart, you can view your health records, such as past lab results and procedures.
  • A third-party app may offer features not available in MyChart.
  • Third-party apps can connect to more than one patient portal, doctor's office, health system or insurance company, allowing you to combine all your health information in one place.

Important privacy and security information about third-party health apps

Always be careful about how you share your private health information. Before connecting a third-party app to MyChart, make sure you understand how the app and its developer will use and protect your medical record data.

The app should have a privacy policy that is accessible, up-to-date, and available for review before you grant access to your records. It should be written in clear, plain language so that you can consider the implications of sharing your data.

When assessing an app's privacy and security, consider these questions:

  • What health data does the app collect?
  • Does it collect non-health data from your device, such as location or photos?
  • How does it use your health data?
  • Will the app sell your data for any reason? If so, does it require your express consent before doing so?
  • Will the app share your data with anyone else, and if so, with whom and for what purposes?
  • What security measures are in place to protect your data?
  • How long will the app hold your data. Do you have any rights to the data, such as correcting errors or deleting the information if you revoke access?
  • Does the app have an internal process for collecting and responding to user complaints?
  • Does the app explain how you can file a privacy complaint with applicable regulators?

Be aware that if companies make privacy promises, either expressly or implicitly, federal law requires them to abide by their claims. Learn about the law here.

How to share your UCSF EHR with a third-party health app

  • Make sure you have an active MyChart account with UCSF.
  • Find the third-party health app you want to use and install it on your phone or device. Never share your UCSF MyChart password with any app.
  • If the app works with UCSF Health, it will request access to your UCSF health data and ask you to log in to MyChart to establish your identity. You can authorize or deny the app's access and permissions in MyChart.
  • On the authorization page, you'll see information provided by the third-party app developer to help you decide whether you want to share your data with the app. If a third-party app developer hasn't provided this information, you'll see a message advising you to deny access to your MyChart account.

How to manage your linked third-party apps

  • You can review and revoke existing authorizations from the "Manage My Linked Apps and Devices" page in MyChart.
  • You can see which apps have accessed your electronic health data in the "Third-Party Apps" tab on the "Who's Accessed My Record?" page in MyChart. It should only contain apps you have authorized.
  • The data you see in a third-party health app may differ from what you see in MyChart. The information available depends on what you authorize in the app approval process and what kinds of data the app maker collects.

For developers: requesting access to UCSF Health's EHR data