A lot has been said about the role of Apple in healthcare, the disruption it could bring and the need for it. If Steve Jobs was alive today, he would surely help the healthcare industry improve.
There is a lot of work and some progress are currently being made but they are slow to implement because evolution is not always seen as such (we all know about the learning curve…).
Apple is not the only company that could bring change and improvements, even disruption, in healthcare. All the technology companies are interested in this field and they will inevitably contribute to change the landscape.
What could Apple bring?
Analyze and integrate health data
The introduction of HealthKit in June 2014 was the start of a big wave of healthcare initiatives launched by Apple. Data collected via the HealthKit through wearables like the Apple Watch can be shared with the user’s doctor in order to improve the doctor-patient relationship. Data can then be integrated in the EHRs (Electronic Health Records) of the patient in order to enlarge the data collection.
Beyond data collection stands data analysis and it’s done with the help of the partnership with IBM Watson to support this effort.
Improve EHRs and real-time medical data to broaden prevention initiatives
Merging EHR and real-time data could enable the use of predictive analytics to anticipate health issues and diseases spread.
The implementation of EHRs could simplify and quicken the collection, use and consultation of medical data, especially in the case of emergencies. This could dramatically help to avoid medical errors due to the lack of specific retrospective information.
Apple has been and is still extremely smart in building strategic partnerships. 3 main partners worth keeping in mind:
- IBM Watson: storage and analysis of raw data on IBM Watson Health Cloud for the data collected on HealthKit and ResearchKit.
- Mayo Clinic: access to over 1 million patients in several countries around the world using dedicated proprietary EHR and communication tools for doctor-patient interactions.
- Epic Systems: expertise in EHR covering over 100m people in USA.
HealthKit & ResearchKit
The main goal of the HealthKit is to collect data from wearables and other connected devices to better monitor individual health. HealthKit also allows the integration of 3rd party apps and devices.
ResearchKit is an add-on to the HealthKit as it helps create apps to improve clinical trials and medical studies.
Apple Watch v. 2.0 and new wearables
The new versions of the Apple Watch could potentially be developed into more sophisticated health-tracking devices with improved heart rate monitor. Moreover, thank to non-invasive technologies, new vital signs could to be captured and analyzed more accurately.
Why healthcare needs a Steve Jobs-like disruptor, STAT, February 2016.
Three More Industries Apple Could Disrupt, re/code, July 2015.
Steve Jobs didn’t disrupt, he adapted. So should healthcare, Becker’s Hospital Review, July 2014.
The Industries Apple Could Disrupt Next, Harvard Business Review, June 2014.