Posted by:Richard Smith June 9th, 2014

In the California Gold Rush of the 1840s, the people that made money most consistently were those that sold shovels and jeans to the prospectors, not the prospectors. Like prospectors looking for gold, healthcare providers and researchers are dying to get their hands on personal health information being generated by smartphones and the 1000s of mHealth apps and devices.

Soon, healthcare organization revenues will be directly impacted by patient satisfaction, hospital re-admission rates, and the health of their overall population. Being able to exploit the smartphone and mHealth apps is critical for healthcare providers to be fully paid.

Apple and countless others are trying to be the tool of choice to help them get paid fully and to get results – improved healthcare outcomes. For Apple and others “there’s gold in them thar hills”

HealthKit

healthkit_framework

HealthKit is not an app, it is a framework. It is like other attempts (see my blog article - http://tinyurl.com/nndec6n) to provide some means of unifying the data generated by 1000s of disparate mHealth apps. In order to be of use, Healthkit needs to collect data from an existing mHealth app or it needs data to be entered manually. It has a database for storing data collected from mHealth devices. Programmers use it to perform statistical operations on the data and present them to the user graphically.

Health

health_app_by_apple

This is an app from Apple that uses the HealthKit framework to access data from various mHealth apps and display in a dashboard that can be optimized by the user. It requires other mHealth apps to generate the pretty dashboards Apple uses to promote HealthKit. WithoutHealth, Apple would have nothing to show to illustrate HealthKit.

What Next?

According to Apple, the iOS 8 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members. Once developers get to take a look at this, we will learn more about what is inside HealthKit and what developers will have to do to make existing mHealth app data available to the framework or to devleop new apps that access that data. We will also know more about how it compares to other approaches with the same goal in mind.

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