LA’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center integrates Apple’s HealthKit into patient files

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Researches at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles are bringing data from Apple’s health-tracking platform, HealthKit, into patient files, according to a Bloomberg report Monday.

The unusual move is designed to provide doctors with a more complete overview of their patients’ health, giving them another set of comprehensive health data to take into account as they make clinical and medical judgments.

Already the hospital has updated its online medical records system, turning on access to HealthKit for more than 80,000 patients, Darren Dworkin, chief information officer at Cedars-Sinai, told the news organization.

The integration gives doctors online access to patients’ weight, blood pressure, steps taken, glucose levels, oxygen saturation levels and other kinds of data monitored through HealthKit-compatible applications and accessories.

Strangely enough, it doesn’t appear that Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has asked patients for permission before integrating HealthKit data into its online medical records system, potentially posing privacy concerns.

“We don’t really, fully know and understand how patients will want to use this and we’re going to basically stand ready to learn by what will happen,” Dworkin said.

“Rather than turn it on as sort of an opt-in, we’ve basically enabled it for all of our patients,” he continued. “The opt-out is just don’t use it.”

Apple says that nearly a thousand health, medical and fitness applications for the iPhone are now integrated with HealthKit, which CEO Tim Cook said during a press conference in February would be “profound because it enables you to take all of the information from different apps” and share it with your physician.

Source: Bloomberg