Cerner has developed a personalised healthcare data app to use on the Apple Watch, hailing the device as "the next evolution" in healthcare.

The HealtheLife app, which is already available to download for the iPhone in the US, helps people to manage their health by sending push notifications to track health data. The app also offers a real time display dashboard to track several different health measurements.

Cerner said it intends to roll out HealtheLife in a clinical setting this month, working with American healthcare providers Emory Healthcare in Georgia and Agnesian HealthCare in Wisconsin. 

Patients involved in the project will receive a set of devices, including a blood pressure monitor, glucose meter and scale, which they can use to record vital signs that they then upload to the app.

The data collected on the app can also be sent directly to a patient’s electronic health record on the Cerner Millennium system, provided the patient gives consent.

This is done by using Apple’s HealthKit, a platform to house and connect healthcare and fitness apps on the company’s devices, offering users an integrated display of their health information.

Nancy Birschbach, chief information officer at Agnesian, said: "By integrating HealthKit information into our EHR, we're engaging patients in their own health to build a healthier community."

Brian Carter, Cerner’s senior director and general manager for personal health, told EHI News the company plans to roll out the app across the rest of the world following the US.

"We are making sure we have it right here, then will make the app available in each country as we have clients there activate the HealtheLife platform."

The announcement is part of a growing trend to incorporate personal data from wearables and other personal devices into electronic healthcare records.

Last month, Cerner announced a deal with digital health platform Validic to integrate patient-generated data into its patient portals and electronic patient records. This was followed by news of a similar partnership between Validic and Meditech.

Apple has also shown a growing interest in the field, with the Apple Watch due to become available on April 24.

Carter described the Apple Watch as “the next evolution connecting consumers and their health team to the clinical community, regardless of physical location".

"This is just the first step in the evolution of sharing personal health data – to provide physicians with access to actionable data anytime, anywhere, not just what's collected at the doctor's office,” he said.

Apple has also developed ResearchKit, which allows researchers to collect medical data directly from patients using an Apple device.

In a column for EHI News, Paul Hodgkin, founder and chair of Patient Opinion, said ResearchKit offers a new approach to data collection and a more effective solution than the controversial programme.

“My guess is that apps built with ResearchKit will rapidly outperform in terms of extending self-care, generating massively scaled, patient generated research data, and refocusing innovation on patient-identified needs,” he said.