HealthKit is already helping top hospitals fight cancer, diabetes

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Apple's reputation as a mobile health company is growing. Photo: Apple
Apple's reputation as a mobile health company is growing. Photo: Apple

 

iOS 8’s HealthKit is already starting to change the way health researchers track patients’ wellness even though it hasn’t been released, as two of the country’s top research hospitals have launched HealthKit trials to track diabetics and patients with cancer and chronic disease.

Doctors at Stanford University Hospital say they’ve been working with Apple to track blood sugar levels for children with diabetes, while Reuters reports that Duke University developed a pilot program that uses HealthKit to track fitness measurements for patients with cancer or heart disease.


The two trial programs are just a preview of the wide reach Apple hopes HealthKit will achieve in the medical field, by giving both physicians and users easier access to health data. The hope is that by making measurements like blood pressures and weight more accessible, and by improving the accuracy and speediness of the data reporting, health professionals will be able to act quicker to impending problems and provide feedback.

Stanford’s Christopher Longhurst says the first Stanford trial will give young patients with Type 1 diabietes an iPod Touch to montior their blood sugar levels with between doctor’s visits. Both trials were mentioned by Apple during its iPhone keynote last week, but this is the first time we’ve received details on how HealthKit is actually being used in the field.

The Stanford pilot program will use two diabetes patients to start, but should be expanded to include teens and infants quickly if there are no problems. The team also plans to soon add the ability to set up alerts so that patients can be notified when their blood sugar spikes or falls.

Source: Reuters