What is Apple's HealthKit

Apple’s HealthKit

Health and fitness gadgets and apps are experiencing quick growth ; the goal of these accessories is to help users to be healthier by monitoring their sleep, cardiac rhythm or keeping track of their training so they can improve their sport aims and athletic performance. At this time, there are already more than 40,000 health apps in the stores.  (see our top healthtech trends report here)

Keeping in view the focus of market towards health, fitness and healthtech, Apple announced HealthKit and its app Health at the World Wide Developers Conference in June 2014 and finally introduced it in 2015 with iOS 8. HealthKit is a developer’s framework, or a set of developer tools and services. HealthKit allows manufacturers of smart fitness and health devices, and health and fitness apps, to access and share health data about you with each other and with Apple’s new Health app. As of the 21st March 2016 Apple enhanced their software with various improvements that include a facility to discover other compatible applications on Apples app store. Until now Apple has made its HealthKit available to some health-based organizations only but plans to make it available to everyone by the end of 2016.

How is HealthKit Different

What would make Apple’s HealthKit different from the rest of health and fitness apps and gadgets? What HealthKit offers is to make collected health information readily available and accessible to healthcare providers right from your device; current health and fitness apps are great at collecting  data (calories burned, cholesterol, heart rate) but Apple’s Health app will put all that data in one place, accessible with a simple tap.

HealthKit's impact on healthcare industry

One of the many problems that current healthcare faces is the ability to easily transfer patient records from one care location to another. We believe that HealthKit can really come in handy in such situations. HealthKit allows a patient to simply unlock their phones and to have access to all their medical history, X-rays, vaccination records and results. Apple proposes to keep all this information in the cloud, with instant access from your phone, just a click away. Your health information will be stored in a centralized and secure location and you will be able to decide which data is shared with the app.These promises are very encouraging but we are yet to witness the benefits and progressions that Apple hopes to create in the health and medical industry.

Duke and Stanford work on HealthKit Pilot

  • Doctors at Stanford University Hospital will use HealthKit to track blood sugar levels of diabetic children. . Stanford’s trial is starting slowly with just two patients, but is expected to expand rapidly.
  • Duke University physicians plan to track vitals like blood pressure for patients with heart disease and cancer.
  • Stanford plans to give an iPod touch to young patients with Type 1 diabetes so they can keep track of their blood sugar levels at home.
  • DexCom, a medical device manufacturer specializing in blood sugar monitoring, will integrate its glucose sensors with HealthKit so the data is stored in the app. Doctors can then tap that data using Epic Systems’ MyChart app, which is also linked to HealthKit.

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