February 18, 2015
Apple has launched a pilot program for its HealthKit service with some of the nation’s top hospitals and medical facilities. The service is designed to help physicians better monitor their patients through the use of health-recorded data such as blood pressure, heart rate, weight, and exercise habits. Doctors can access the data from an iPhone or iPad and use it to detect and address early medical problems. Meanwhile, Samsung and Google have also introduced health services of their own.
The HealthKit pilot program aims “to help physicians monitor patients with such chronic conditions as diabetes and hypertension,” Reuters reports. Doctors could use the technology to keep track of a wider range of patients and identify when a specific patient may need immediate attention.
The HealthKit collects data from various health sources such as health apps, glucose measurement tools and other smart health technology.
Reuters notes that of 23 top hospitals it approached, 14 confirmed being involved with Apple’s pilot program. That trend will most likely continue to grow, especially as more medical institutions look to invest in health related technology such as wearables, apps and remote monitoring.
“Researcher IDC Health Insights predicts that 70 percent of healthcare organizations worldwide will invest by 2018 in technology including apps, wearables, remote monitoring and virtual care,” Reuters adds.
Samsung and Google have not yet secured partnerships with as many top medical institutions. However, Reuters notes that many hospitals “were eager to try pilots of the Google Fit service, since Google’s Android software powers most smartphones.”
Samsung’s development of health technology is tied to its work with Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital and with the University of California’s San Francisco Medical Center.
However, it seems that Apple has secured a sizable lead in its approach to integrating technology with health. “Apple has said that over 600 developers are integrating HealthKit into their health and fitness apps,” Reuters reports.