To get their hands on Apple’s Healthkit, users would have to wait till the official launch of iOS 8. However, Reuters reported Apple has already been having discussion with some of the big healthcare service providers.
Reuters didn’t mention its source. According to Reuters, “people familiar with the discussions” said Apple wants the Healthkit service to work with Johns Hopkins, The Cleveland Clinic and electronic health record storage service provider called Allscripts.
We discussed how Healthkit system will work in our previous articles. In one of those articles, we explained the importance of tracking for Healthkit. Apple got M7 Coprocessor on device step tracking so users get every detail related to their health. The Healthkit system would allow users measure the amount of caffeine so they could lower its consumption and stay safe. The health application will integrate with other third party apps and users would receive useful information from those apps.
Healthkit will also have a Medical ID section so users could get emergency alert. Actually, health related data are currently being collected by third party apps. Problem is currently there’s no way to store the data. Apple not only store all those data but also has plans to let physicians use them. That will help them diagnose and cure a disease with ease. The only thing they’d need is prior consent of the patient.
The Reuters report says Apple has formed a working relationship with Epic. The application of Epic will be integrated with Healthkit. Health and fitness data from Healthkit will be transported to the personal health record of Epic.The personal health record of Epic is called MyChart. The report on Reuters reads, “Kaiser Permanente is currently piloting a number of mobile apps that leverage HealthKit, two people have said, and is expected to reach out to Apple to discuss a more formal partnership.”
An analyst called Skip Snow who is currently working with Forrester Research’s health care correctly apprehended what Apple is up to. He said, “Apple is going into this space with a data play…they (Apple) want to be a hub of health data.” Even though there’s no official word from Apple on this, the chief information officer of Cleveland Clinic Associate William Morris said the clinical solutions team of the clinic is currently doing developer testing of Apple’s Healthkit beta. Once the testing is done, the feedback will provided to Apple.
However, full implementation of Healthkit could be a problem for Apple because of online privacy and regulatory requirements. Apple couldn’t compromise on security because a storage where such a huge chunk of data is stored needs robust security. IT experts like Morgan Reed of ACT, an organization based in Washington said Apple needs to work on security.
Hopefully Apple will overcome the challenges because a system such as HealthKit could replace old school health technologies and become a one stop solution for clinics and hospitals which don’t have enough budget. They could save time and resources by using Healthkit.
There’s still a month and a half time before the full release of iOS8. Apple may sort the problems and enhance Healthkit.