Best iOS 8 features (Health 001)

According to Reuters Thursday, HealthKit trials are moving away from universities and into hospitals, with more than half of the nation’s top 23 hospitals having already rolled out their own trials of the HealthKit platform, or “are in talks to do so”. HealthKit allows third-parties to integrate and interact with the user’s health database on iOS 8 devices.

Fourteen of the nation’s top 23 hospitals confirmed to the news gathering organization participating in the HealthKit roll-out, including at least eight of the 17 hospitals on the U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll list, which ranks the best hospitals in the U.S.

“Google and Samsung had started discussions with just a few of these hospitals,” Christina Farr wrote for the news service, adding that hospitals are interested in Google’s Fit service due to Android’s installed base.

With patients’ consent, their health information like the data gathered from HealthKit-compatible apps and accessories can be sent wirelessly to an electronic medical record for doctors to view.

Having relevant health data available immediately upon request allows doctors to watch for early signs of trouble and intervene before a medical problem becomes acute.

“That could help hospitals avoid repeat admissions, for which they are penalized under new U.S. government guidelines, all at a relatively low cost,” explains the article.

Conceived as a platform for sharing data between health and fitness services, HealthKit keeps users’ crucial stats like blood pressure, weight, heart rate and so forth encrypted and stored in a centralized and secure location and their devices.

More than 600 developers are currently integrating HealthKit into their health and fitness apps, Apple said.

A forthcoming iOS 8 update will enhance the stock Health app with spirometry data types, additional privacy settings and the ability to export Health data.

The U.S. healthcare market is worth an IDC-estimated $3 trillion.

The research firm predicted that 70 percent of healthcare organizations worldwide will invest by 2018 in technology including apps, wearables, remote monitoring and virtual care.

Source: Reuters