According to new reports, Apple has been meeting with major health providers to discuss its new HealthKit service, set to debut with iOS 8.
Apple has supposedly meet with healthcare officials at Mount Sinai, the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins, alongside Allscripts, which is a competitor to major electronic health records provider Epic Systems.
The talks concern how Apple wants to make the health data it plans to help collect (including blood pressure, pulse rate, weight, etc.) available to both consumers and health providers.
Apple hopes that physicians will be able to use this data (provided permission is granted) to monitor patients in between hospital visits, in order to make better decisions concerning diagnostics and treatment.
The data collected by Apple will be stored on individual devices rather than being centrally stored.
HealthKit and the Health app is likely to be just the first step in Apple’s push into mobile health, to be followed by the iWatch, which is widely expected to feature health and fitness-tracking features. Apple has spent the past several years hiring a number of experts in the medical field, particularly related to biosensors for monitoring metrics like blood glucose levels.
Apple has also discussed its work with the Mayo Clinic to let doctors use HealthKit to help advise patient treatment and medical care. Apple will also most likely need to have FDA approval for its technology as it continues its push into the mobile health area, with this previously put forward as one explanation for the delay of the iWatch.
Apple reportedly sees mobile health as a “moral obligation” on its part.