If you were watching Apple’s iPhone 6 event, you may have glossed over the HealthKit App. It’s main introduction came back in June, and it’s Apple’s attempt to push your phone and any future wearables solidly into the healthcare vertical.
HealthKit is designed so you can glance down at your Apple device and instantly see an overview of your health. The other feature is that it can share the information with your doctor, and that was showcased in a slide during the WWDC conference. It had an impressive who’s who of hospitals and medical centers participating in the HealthKit program.
Lucky for us, we get a glimpse of what is coming down the pipeline from major medical centers. Two pilot studies were announced today from Stanford Hospital and Clinics and DukeMedicine. The app will take advantage of regulated healthcare devices such as glucose monitors and share the data with the app. From there, with a patient’s permission, your doctor will be able to view the information.
Alongside glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors immediately spring to mind as something that could sync easily with the new app.
Each of the two studies announced today focuses on those areas. Stanford’s study will focus on tracking blood sugar levels in children with diabetes. Duke is developing a pilot program to track blood pressure, weight and other measurements for patients with heart disease or cancer.
Yes, they are marketing the Apple Watch as a status symbol, much like the early iPhone marketing. But, it’s main use may not come from the fact you can use haptic feedback for morse code messaging. It is the built-in heart rate monitor. The watch adds yet another level in Apple’s push into mobile healthcare.
With the rapid expansion of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, mobile healthcare is becoming a must. More people insured and baby boomers hitting retirement age will put an enormous train on the healthcare system.
Using the HealthKit App will give people with chronic diseases a part of their life back. Instead of having to drop by the doctor all the time, you can use smart devices to keep your doctor alerted to any changes in your health.
So, while Apple fans gush over the bigger screen, the biggest feature on the iPhone 6 could be your health.