Skip to main content

Apple wants to bring HealthKit to a hospital near you

Apple iOS 8 press 7
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Apple is moving fast to make HealthKit the go-to wellness platform before Samsung and Google can catch up. Back in June when it unveiled iOS 8, Apple announced HealthKit and its partnership with the Mayo Clinic, which ensures that iPhone users receive push notifications with doctor’s recommendations, so as to promote good health. Now, Apple is reportedly in talks with several other big-name hospitals and a pair of electronic health records (EHR) companies, in hopes of convincing them to sign up with HealthKit.

Related: Apple unveils health-focused push with HealthKit and Mayo Clinic partnership

If Apple manages to get hospitals to partner with its app, HealthKit could be used as a health monitoring resource for both patients and doctors.

Apple is in talks with Mount Sinai, Cleveland Clinic, and John Hopkins hospital, as well as electronic health records companies Allscripts and Epic Systems, according to Reuters. It hopes to sway these major players in the health industry to its side, but these talks also concern the best way to make HealthKit work effectively for iOS users.

The app aims to aggregate and track all a user’s health and fitness data in one easy-to-read app. If Apple manages to get hospitals to partner with its app, HealthKit could be used as a health monitoring resource for both patients and doctors.

Patients will be able to actually see if they are meeting their wellness goals and in turn, doctors will be able to access patient data at any given time, offer more accurate recommendations, and keep patients on track.

Apple currently has a similar relationship with the Mayo Clinic, so patients whose doctors work there will receive push notifications when results are abnormal, there needs to be a follow up, and so on. Its partnership with Nike is more fitness-based, but involves the same openness with user data between the two companies. Meanwhile, Epic will use data from HealthKit to generate patients records with its software. The resulting MyChart personal health record should help doctors make more accurate diagnoses and recommendations to their patients.

Related: Watch George Takei get a full physical exam from a smartphone

Of course, sharing patients’ data between several different companies, apps, and parties isn’t easy. Depending on what information is shared, by whom, and how, Apple and its partners could fall under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA is intended to protect patient data and information, such as bills and medical records, as it moves from the databases of a “coveted entity” like a health plan or insurance company, to an app or vice versa. The patients’ private data must be protected according to the law’s specific standards.

Apple may run into trouble with federal laws and regulation, but the company has already hired a fleet of lawyers and experts on the matter to advise company executive son how best to proceed with its plans for health data domination.

Malarie Gokey
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Mobile Editor, Malarie runs the Mobile and Wearables sections, which cover smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and…
Check your Apple Card right now — you may have a crazy 10% cash-back promo
Daily Cash page for the Apple Card, showing a 10% back promo for grocery store purchases.

If you’re an Apple Card user, you may want to check if you have a new offer waiting for you that will net you up to 10% cash back on grocery store purchases. Yes, you read that correctly — 10% cash back.

Apple is quietly boosting Apple Card rewards with this new promotion that seems to only be available to select users through May 31. The timing of this offer follows the launch of the Apple Card Savings account earlier in the month.

Read more
Apple building an AI health coach for Apple Watch, report claims
Apple's Health app.

Apple is developing an "AI-powered health coach" that will offer personalized advice for improving exercise, diet, and sleep, according to a Bloomberg report on Tuesday.

Sources claiming to have knowledge of the matter told the news site’s Apple insider Mark Gurman that the new service -- reportedly codenamed Quartz -- will use AI technology with health data gathered by Apple’s smartwatch to make the company’s health platform even more useful.

Read more
Why I never want the Apple Watch to change
The Apple Watch SE 2 on a man's wrist.

A recent report indicated Apple’s next version of watchOS will be a “fairly extensive upgrade” — with changes to the user interface specifically mentioned. It went on to say that, despite these possible alterations to the software, the Apple Watch itself won’t see such significant changes. There may be some people who think this is a bad thing and want to see “new” hardware to keep things exciting, at least in their minds.

I’m in the opposite camp. I never want Apple to change the basic shape and design of the Apple Watch. Here’s why leaving it alone is the very best course of action.
Recognizable and comfortable

Read more