Top hospitals in the U.S. launch pilot programs for Apple's HealthKit service.
Technology revolving around healthcare is gaining a lot of momentum and Apple's HealthKit app has been launched by 14 of the top 23 hospitals in the U.S.
The software is meant to be a central and personal data collection point, which has the potential to directly analyze and monitor an individual's physiology and biochemistry for general as well as medical fitness purposes.
"We've created a new tool for developers called HealthKit, which allows all the incredible health and ﬁtness apps to work together, and work harder, for you. It just might be the beginning of a health revolution," per Apple.
The pilot programs will assist physicians to monitor patients suffering with chronic medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. While Apple's health app has already been launched by hospitals, similar software made by rivals such as Google and Samsung are still to reach out to hospitals and medical partners.
Apple's HealthKit connects to fitness apps such as exercise and food tracking apps, glucose measurement tools and Wi-fi connected scales. Apple is also estimated to launch a smartwatch dubbed iWatch, which will add to more fitness and medical-related data of the wearer to be gathered by HealthKit. With the patient's consent, the fitness and medical records collected by HealthKit can be sent to doctors or healthcare providers for review.
Health apps such as the HealthKit can help doctors to identify any signs of medical problems in a patient and intervene before a complication arises. The app can help patients to swift medical attention and at the same time it will help hospitals to avoid any repeat admissions, which may result in the hospital to be penalized.
The U.S. healthcare market is estimated to be worth $3 trillion. Researchers predict that by 2018 about 70 percent of healthcare organizations across the globe will invest in healthcare technology that includes apps, remote monitoring, virtual care and wearables.
The HealthKit app was released along with iOS 8 in September 2014. Even though the app is supposed to be compatible with iOS 8 devices, currently only iPhone and iPod Touch customers can take use of the health software. HealthKit is currently not available for iPads.