Apple discussing HealthKit adoption with US healthcare pros ahead of iOS 8 launch

ios 8 beta 3 health

Apple is working on bringing its new iOS 8 tool for developers called HealthKit to medical professionals in the United States. Eagle-eyed readers will remember that back at WWDC in June, Apple and the Mayo Clinic demoed the first HealthKit-driven app.

Reuters is now reporting that the Cupertino company has been discussing HealthKit integration with a number of US healthcare professionals, including renowned hospitals like Mount Sinai, Cleveland Clinic, John Hopkins and Allscripts…

Christian Farr, reporting for Reuters, explains that Apple wants to ensure that the aforementioned institutions are able to access health data, such as blood pressure, pulse and weight, available for consumers and health providers to view in one place.

Cleveland Clinic associate chief information officer William Morris said the clinical solutions team is experimenting with HealthKit’s beta and is providing feedback to Apple.

HealthKit and related services could become a means for some technology teams at budget-strapped hospitals to save time and resources, as mobile developers won’t have to integrate with dozens of apps and devices like fitness trackers or Glucometers as they have to now, he said.

In a way, Apple wants to become a hub of aggregated health data.

Privacy and regulatory requirements, however, may hinder the adoption of Apple’s system among US healthcare pros. As you’re probably aware, Apple conceived the stock iOS 8 Health app as a central repository for users’ health data, stored in a secure location on your device.

When iOS 8 launches this Fall, third-party fitness and health apps and accessories (like the rumored iWatch) will be able to ask for your permission in order to send the data they produce to the Health database. In turn, health/fitness dat such as steps taken and Nike Fuel points earned will no longer be isolated within individual apps.

iOS 8 (Health, teaser 001)

HealthKit, notes Apple’s iOS 8 webpage, lets “the incredible health and fitness apps to work together, and work harder, for you”.

Here’s more from Apple:

With HealthKit, developers can make their apps even more useful by allowing them to access your health data, too. And you choose what you want shared. For example, you can allow the data from your blood pressure app to be automatically shared with your doctor.

Or allow your nutrition app to tell your fitness apps how many calories you consume each day. When your health and fitness apps work together, they become more powerful. And you might, too.

One of the major selling points of the system is that data can be shared with other HealthKit-enabled apps without developers needing to implement support for specific fitness-tracking devices.

More information about HealthKit is available on Apple’s Dev Center for iOS 8 development. I’d also recommend checking out a new TechCrunch article entitled ‘How Apple’s HealthKit Could Offer General Wellbeing As A Platform Advantage’ by Darrell Etherington.