A new report this morning is claiming that Apple's healthcare technology is spreading quickly among major U.S. hospitals, showing early promise as a way for doctors to monitor patients remotely and lower costs.
Fourteen of 23 top hospitals contacted by Reuters said they have rolled out a pilot program of Apple's HealthKit service that was introduced last summer - which acts as a repository for patient-generated health information like blood pressure, weight or heart rate - or are in talks to do so.
The pilots aim to help physicians monitor patients with such chronic conditions as diabetes and hypertension. Apple rivals Google and Samsung, which have released similar services, are only just starting to reach out to hospitals and other medical partners.
Such systems hold the promise of allowing doctors to watch for early signs of trouble and intervene before a medical problem becomes acute. That could help hospitals avoid repeat admissions, for which they are penalized under new U.S. government guidelines, all at a relatively low cost.
Apple has recruited informal industry advisors, including Rana and John Halamka, chief information officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, to discuss health data privacy and for introductions to the industry.
Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles is developing visual dashboards to present patient-generated data to doctors in an easy-to-digest manner.
Experts say that there will eventually be a need for common standards to ensure that data can be gathered from both Apple's system and its competitors.
This is going to be a potential problem down the road. Brian Carter, a director focused on personal and population health at Cerner, an electronic medical record vendor that is integrated with HealthKit questioned, "How do we get Apple to work with Samsung? I think it will be a problem eventually." For more on this important report, see the full Reuters report here.