CNBC Interviews Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty on Apple's Move into Healthcare Supported by Recent Apple Patent
Katy Huberty, Morgan Stanley's head of North American technology hardware equity research, discusses Apple's potential as a healthcare tech giant with CNBC's "Squawk Alley." One of the first things discussed was Apple making a big impact on being a central repository of medical data. Huberty stated: "Tim Cook has made it almost the company's mission to be a steward of consumer data. So if there's any technology company today that's well positioned to this off; build the trust of health care institutions and consumers, it is Apple."
Below is a 6:42 interview with Katy Huberty pounding the table for Apple health care hardware and services. Further below is an overview of Apple's latest Health Care Records system patent filing that came to light just last week.
The timing of this subject coming to CNBC is interesting as last week the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a pate application from Apple titled "Techniques for Anonymized Searching of Medical Providers." To anonymize means to carry out or organize in such a way as to preserve anonymity, as in, protect consumer's health information in this case.
What's just as important as the patent are it's inventors. The line-up includes Jorge Pozas, Software Engineering Manager. Apple acquired his company "Gliimpse,Inc." in 2016.
Mark Pennell is another inventor who is a Sr. Software Engineer, Health with 25 years experience in web/cloud and mobile application platforms. Yet another inventor is Sangeeth Sridharan in Apple Health. Sridharan has a decade of experience as a Healthcare Director working in IT Strategy, IT Operations. And lastly, Rob Sami, Apple Cloud Storage Engineer.
Overview of the Invention
Apple notes that users typically visit more than one health institution to obtain medical treatment. For example, a user may periodically visit a neighborhood clinic for annual physical evaluations and for minor medical procedures. An electronic health record (EHR) is a computer-stored and transferrable copy of a user's physical health record. The neighborhood clinic may maintain an instance of the user's electronic health record (e.g., using an EHR system, sometimes referred to as an electronic medical record (EMR) system). When the user visits, a medical professional may update the electronic health record. However, different instances of the user's electronic health record may be maintained by other health institutions that are unaffiliated with the neighborhood clinic.
For example, the user may have visited a surgical center for a surgery, been transported to an emergency room in connection with an accident, or may have visited a different clinic while on vacation in a different city. Each of the surgical center, the emergency room, and the different clinic, may have created an instance of the user's electronic health record, which may be maintained using different EHR systems. The EHR systems may provide patient portals for accessing health records on their systems. Because these portals are built and maintained by different organizations, accessing each by the user may require a unique set of user credentials. And once the user logs in to a particular portal, they are still limited by what portion of their electronic health record will be available for viewing.
Existing computer systems may be able to maintain a single connection to a single EHR system, but challenges may arise when these systems attempt to programmatically maintain multiple connections across multiple EHR systems.
Moreover, because different medical professionals contribute to the instances of the electronic health record, data inconsistencies may exist between electronic health records sourced from different EHR systems. Conventional data rectification techniques may prove insufficient to resolve these types of data inconsistences.
Apple's invention covers, among other things, methods, systems, devices, and computer-readable media for obtaining electronic health records from various disparate sources, processing the electronic health records to enable efficient storage and retrieval, and presenting medical information from the electronic health records in a uniform manner using a health application of a user device. Users to whom the electronic health records belong typically visit different medical providers as part of obtaining treatment.
These medical providers may be part of the same provider organization (e.g., a clinic and a hospital owned by the same entity) or may be part of different organizations (e.g., a dialysis clinic owned by a first entity and an imaging center owned by a second entity). Each of these medical providers may maintain a portion of a particular user's electronic health record using EHR systems.
Apple's patent FIG. 20 below illustrates an example flow chart showing a process for enabling anonymized user searching of medical provider entities
Apple's patent FIGS. 21-323 illustrate a series of processes, decision points, and user interface (UI) views relating to a user operating a health application of a user device to connect to a gateway of an electronic health record system for downloading health record data. Below are just the first three patent figures in that group that covers "Health Records; Sources; and Adding an Account."
Apple patent application 20190102461 is deep and detailed with 77 patent figures that you could review in full here.
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