Major L.A. hospital offers HealthKit access to 80,000 patients

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Major Los Angeles hospital Cedars-Sinai announced that it will now sync the health data of its 80,000 patients with Apple’s HealthKit. The hospital is currently in the process of revamping its electronic records system to make it easier for doctors to keep track of their patients’ progress and overall health.

Syncing patients’ data with HealthKit will put key health metrics such as weight, blood pressure, glucose levels, activity levels, and so on at the fingertips of every Cedars-Sinai doctor and healthcare professional.

Darren Dworkin, chief information officer at Cedars-Sinai, told Bloomberg that the hospital hopes that HealthKit will improve the care its physicians provide their patients. He also stated that this initial trial period will help the hospital understand how best to utilize the software.

“This is just another set of data that we’re confident our physicians will take into account as they make clinical and medical judgments,” Dworkin said. “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.”

Several other major hospitals, including the Mayo Clinic and Duke University Hospital, are already connected to HealthKit, as are more than 900 medical and fitness apps. Cedars-Sinai’s decision to incorporate HealthKit into its record-keeping system represents one of the biggest trials yet. And in a controversial decision, the hospital has made it so that any patient who is already using HealthKit will automatically have their data made available to doctors at Cedars-Sinai.

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

It’s unclear whether patients who want to use HealthKit, but don’t want their data to be available to doctors at the hospital, can opt out of the program.

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