Apple Plans Transform HealthKit From Tracker to Diagnosis Tool
Till date Apple’s HealthKit has mostly collected fitness data from its devices. In the future, if the company finds its way, the software will interpret that information, converting it into advice for users, doctors and others.
Many health care experts hired by Apple in recent years are designing enhanced electronic health record software that can well analyze and understand the implications of patient data.
The iPhone manufacturer is even working on new apps for the Apple Watch. It can track users’ sleep patterns. Another app focusses on fitness levels by calculating the time taken for the heart rate to fall from its peak to resting level. Apple already has an app that measures heart rate, but yet don’t interpret them.
The ultimate goal of Apple’s health care technology team is to turn HealthKit into a tool that improves diagnoses. The system could do away two problems that plague the field of clinical research and have stumped other specialist firms in the field.
Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook wants Apple to act more in improving software and services to secure new sources of economy and make customers more dependent on the company’s devices.
In early this year, Apple bought Gliimpse Inc., a startup that build software to pull electronic health records from different databases and in different formats and finally store them in one place.
He equated the product to Apple’s music business. That negan with the iPod, but as more people became habituated to storing all their music files digitally, Apple united all music lovers in a single platform on top of the device.
Apple health software might become a revenue driver, too, by keeping people intrigued to the company’s equipments. If a patient’s health records, and related suggestions, are reachable through Apple’s system, it would be difficult to trade in an iPhone for a smartphone running Google’s Android OS, and its health-tracking software Google Fit.
The second module of Apple’s Watch has a built-in GPS tracker, faster processor and is water resistant and many people can run, swim and do other exercise with the device. The upgraded Watch software, dubbed watchOS 3, puts health tracking information more prominently in the user interface, and adds a breathing during exercise app as well as tracking during swimming.
Building more sensors into the Watch serves a limited purpose. The accelerometer can generate most of the useful data needed to monitor a person’s well-being. A glucometer or blood-pressure sensor would only help a small percentage of users, the person said.
Scott Jenkins, said that Apple is working hard with many of these large institutions to produce tools that are medically significant, to take data from sensors.
Stephen Friend, a Merck & Co. veteran who founded health data non-profit Sage Bionetworks, is honored with being the brains behind ResearchKit. He joined Apple as full-time employee in June after working as a consultant for more than two years.
Yoky Matsuoka, formerly technology chief at Google’s Nest Labs unit, joined Apple’s health team last year. Nest mostly known as a hardware specialist, but Matsuoka head the development of software that interpreted and learned from data that its internet-connected thermostats collect.
Apple’s greatest obstacle for now is proving to medical professionals that data delivered from wearables through HealthKit and ResearchKit is reliable.