Apple Prepares HealthKit Rollout for Health Care Tracking
Apple Inc. is currently discussing how its HealthKit service will work with health providers at Mount Sinai, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins and Allscripts, according to Reuters.
The tech giant has held talks about the upcoming service, revealing its intent on making health data, such as blood pressure, pulse and weight, available for consumers and health providers to view in one place.
Expected to be incorporated into the iPhone 6 come September, Apple hopes physicians will use telemedicine data to better monitor patients between visits – with the patient’s consent – so doctors can make better diagnostic and treatment decisions.
Nike was originally tapped as one of Apple’s primary partners through the company’s Nike+ digital brand and the Mayo Clinic is reportedly testing a service to flag patients when results from apps and devices are abnormal, with follow-up information and treatment recommendations.
According to Reuters, dozens of major health systems that use the software will be able to integrate health and fitness data from HealthKit into MyChart, a personal health record designed by Epic. Kaiser Permanente is additionally piloting a number of mobile apps that leverage HealthKit and is expected to reach out to Apple.
“Apple is going into this space with data,” Forrester Research’s health care analysis Skip Snow told Reuters. “They want to be a hub of data.”
HealthKit relies on the ability of users to share data, and as such, may be subject to the requirements of HIPAA.
Jim Taschetta, chief marketing officer at iHealth Lab, noted that Apple has taken measures to ensure that consumers are aware of how data is being collected and stored and will let patients decide if they wish to share data from third-party apps with Apple’s main health app.
“It is consumer controlled and can be turned on or off at any time from the app that collects the data from the original source,” said Taschetta.