The majority of top US hospitals are either already using Apple’s HealthKit service or are in talks to do so, a Reuters survey reveals.
Fourteen out of 23 top hospitals contacted by Reuters said they have rolled their own trial of the HealthKit tool that acts as a repository for health-related information such as blood pressure, weight, and heart rate.
Among the hospitals testing HealthKit are at least eight of the top 17 hospitals as ranked by the US News & World Report’s Honor Roll. Of course, these hospitals aren’t limiting their testing to Apple; they are also in talks with its competitors, Google and Samsung, as they also provide such services.
Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans has been working with Apple and Epic Systems, Ochsner’s medical records vendor, to roll out a pilot program for high-risk patients. The team is already tracking several hundred patients who are struggling to control their blood pressure. The devices measure blood pressure and other statistics and send it to Apple phones and tablets.
“If we had more data, like daily weights, we could give the patient a call before they need to be hospitalized,” said Chief Clinical Transformation Officer Dr. Richard Milani.
According to Apple, more than 600 developers have already integrated HealthKit into their health and fitness apps. There are challenges that need to be solved, though, one of which is the time spent sorting through a “deluge of patient generated data”. That’s the harder one, because they also need to determine the quality of the data generated by the devices patients use to track their health.