Apple first introduced HealthKit to their developers this past June and their Health app will debut with iOS 8 for the iPhone 6 on September 19. The new Health app will provide iPhone 6 users with an easy‑to‑read dashboard of their health and ﬁtness data. Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, introduced HealthKit and showed a series of slides during his keynote. One of his slides, as noted in our cover graphic, presented an initial list of prominent organizations in the Health Care field working with Apple. Two of the organizations were noted as being Stanford Hospital and Clinics and DukeMedicine. Today a new report provides some insight into what these two medical establishments are working on with Apple.
According to the new report, "Two prominent U.S. hospitals are preparing to launch trials with diabetics and chronic disease patients using Apple's HealthKit, offering a glimpse of how the iPhone maker's ambitious take on healthcare will work in practice.
HealthKit, which is still under development, is the center of a new healthcare system by Apple. Regulated medical devices, such as glucose monitors with accompanying iPhone apps, can send information to HealthKit. With a patient's consent, Apple's service gathers data from various health apps so that it can be viewed by doctors in one place.
Stanford University Hospital doctors said they are working with Apple to let physicians track blood sugar levels for children with diabetes.
Duke University is developing a pilot to track blood pressure, weight and other measurements for patients with cancer or heart disease.
The goal is to improve the accuracy and speed of reporting data, which often is done by phone and fax now. Potentially doctors would be able to warn patients of an impending problem. The pilot programs will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
HealthKit makes a critical link between measuring devices, including those used at home by patients, and medical information services relied on by doctors, such as Epic Systems Corp, a partner already announced by Apple." To learn more about these developments see Reuter's report.
In August we reported that Apple had been discussing how its "HealthKit" service would work with health providers at Mount Sinai, the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins. It was noted then that Apple intended HealthKit to become a lynchpin in a broader push into mobile healthcare. One of the biggest issues facing Apple's Health app is regulatory requirements in respect to privacy. For more on that development see our August report.
During Apple's special event last week they introduce Apple Watch which will work with their Health App. Initially Apple Watch will become an intelligent health and fitness companion.
Apple Watch will give its users a more complete picture of their all-day physical activity because it measures more than just the quantity of your movement, such as the number of steps you take. It will measure the quality and frequency as well. The three rings of the Activity app (as illustrated below) will show user's their progress at a glance, and provide all the motivation they need to sit less, move more, and get some exercise.
There's also a separate Workout app for dedicated cardio sessions. Over time, Apple Watch can use what it learns about the way you move to suggest personalized daily fitness goals and encourage you to achieve them. So you can live a better day and a healthier life.
Last December Patently Apple reported on an "Embedded Heart Rate Monitor that could be integrated into a future iWatch," and it's another patent pending invention that has come to life.
Learning about the Sanford and Duke trials today demonstrates how dedicated health professionals are at making the Apple Watch and the iDevice Health App a true success over time.
This is a huge undertaking that brings health care into the digital age. Apple's project to bring all of the pieces and major players together to deliver real health benefits to consumers over time will help us all stay on top of our fitness goals a little better, and more importantly, inform us of potential problems so that we'll be able to act upon them a little quicker before a health disaster strikes.
In June the Mayo Clinic was quoted as saying: "We Believe Apple's HealthKit will revolutionize how the health industry interacts with people."