Apple Partners With Epic, Mayo on New Health App Platform


On Monday, Apple introduced HealthKit, a mobile platform that combines data from other health-tracking apps and displays composite information in a dashboard format through a new app, simply called Health.


HealthKit was designed to un-silo data from the over 100,000 health and fitness apps currently in the iTunes store, making it easier for users to track their overall well-being.

"With your permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness," according to an Apple news release. "For example, the Nike+ apps using NikeFuel will be able to pull in other key HealthKit metrics such as sleep and nutrition to build a custom user profile and improve athletic performance."

This is not an entirely new idea. In March, Samsung introduced S Health, which compiles data from external sensors and user input into one dashboard. Chuck Parker, executive director of the nonprofit Continua Health Alliance, a group of healthcare and technology companies focused on establishing a system of interoperable personal connected health solutions, says the rise of platforms like HealthKit and S Health have the potential to increase consumer use of health tracking apps.

"It's great to see platforms like these deploying as a common way of using these tools," he says. "It makes it much easier to not worry about the app but to put it all together to better measure individual health."

What makes HealthKit different from S Health or similar platforms, however, is Apple's partnerships with Epic Systems and Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic, which has reportedly been working with Apple for the past five years on HealthKit, will provide health information and content through the new platform. The partnership will also allow user data to be sent to Mayo physicians and provide a way for physicians to then contact patients for follow-up care.

"We believe Apple's HealthKit will revolutionize how the health industry interacts with people," said John Noseworthy, MD, president and CEO of the Rochester, Minn.-based organization, in Apple's news release.

It's the partnership with Epic, however, that has the most potential to affect the health IT industry. By integrating with Epic records, the platform could help compile more of a patient's information in one place, presenting a more comprehensive picture of the patient's health and providing physicians with more data with which to devise treatment plans. It also has the potential to further increase Epic's prominence in the market — it has been estimated that 51 percent of the U.S. population will have an Epic medical record by next year, a figure that could rise if providers feel additional pressure to switch to Epic.  

More Articles on Apple:

Apple Considering Health, Fitness Platform
Growing Market Inspires Consumer Electronics Association to Add Personal Health Device Division
Samsung Expected to Unveil mHealth Plans This Month


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