The Rise Of Apple In Healthcare – What You Should Know

The BTC Team

With everyone’s eyes set on the launch of the seventh iteration of the iPhone, what excites me more is Apple’s presence in healthcare.

Apple is making consistent strides in the healthcare sector that are noteworthy. In 2014, they launched HealthKit – early in 2015, ResearchKit – and later in 2016, Apple launched CareKit.

Plus, just recently, Apple purchased patient information data-gathering and medical data-management startup, Gliimpse.

Doctors Prefer Apple

Why would a smartphone-selling company be interested in healthcare at all?

The iPhone’s universality in healthcare is unquestionable – 62% of doctors in the U.S. prefer using Apple products over others when it comes to their daily work routine. Apple iPhone’s cousin, the iPad also remains one of the most preferred devices by doctors.

It’s also important to note that Apple can store accurate data from its consumers about their lifestyles. This is a significant trend and a great opportunity for Apple to make a case for its devices in the exponentially fast-growing digital health segment. This gives Apple a natural and unmatched upper hand in when it comes to healthcare.

Apple Simplifies Healthcare & Medical Research

Apple CEO Tim Cook believes that the future of healthcare is in “simplifying healthcare, making sure your patients feel like customers, and having systems and applications that will bring out the best in medical professionals.” This highly achievable goal is slowly taking hold.

Here’s the full picture below.

  • Apple iPhone For Healthcare Apps

Okay, it’s obvious –the iPhone has a superb camera, sensors, and more. These, if used correctly, can help to compile a large amount of healthcare-related data.

The iPhone’s sensors and devices can also be used to build engaging apps. Many innovative apps utilize its features. For example, check out this iOS app that we created for Engine1 patients with Type1 diabetes.

  • Use Apple Watch To Collect Data

This recent entrant in the wearable market is another major bet by Apple in Healthcare. The Apple Watch is a great tool to collect and manage healthcare-related data. It can gather information like step counts, heart rates, and more.

The next versions of Apple Watch are expected to further its technology to capture and monitor healthcare-related information.

  • Make Use of Collected Data With HealthKit

HealthKit is the first step towards making sense of collected data. It comes with a centralized dashboard to organize and track a user’s health data.

This is a convenient way for users to access all of their health metrics ranging from steps taken to calories burned. There are many apps available in the Apple App Store that use HealthKit extensively for data gathering.

HealthKit also acts as a portal for sharing collected data with other apps. The user has complete control over data sharing.

  • Use ResearchKit For Clinical Research

ResearchKit is an open-source framework that can be used to build medical and clinical research. This highly successful framework has produced more than 20 innovative research apps.

Top university researchers have extensively used ResearchKit apps for their clinical research. Recently GSK used the ResearchKit framework to build a clinical study app – making it the first pharmaceutical company to use the framework.

The success of ResearchKit can also be seen in the fact that there are Android and Hybrid iterations of the framework, namely ResearchStack and the Ionic ResearchKit Platform.

  • Build Your Healthcare Apps With CareKit

CareKit is an all-new set of tools by Apple for building healthcare apps.

It contains mainly four features:

1. Care Cards to track medication

2. A Symptom-Tracking Tool

3. A Health Metrics Dashboard

4. A Sharing Function to share the data with others

CareKit can also be integrated with ResearchKit. Multiple ResearchKit apps already use CareKit in their research studies

  • Gliimpse(Recently-Purchased Startup)

Gliimpse is a recent acquisition by Apple which allows users to own their medical information in a single virtual space.

Their data can be shared with anyone the patient wishes to, making the entire process of data management and medical-information sharing a simple process.

(Apple just acquired Gliimspe, so it’s currently not available as a service.)

  • A Partnership With IBM Watson

Apple partnered with IBM Watson and will use its big data analytics services in medical research.

Apple plans to use IBM Health Cloud and Watson Cognitive computing with its ResearchKit and HealthKit platform. The combination can be highly useful to carry out medical and clinical research for complex projects that require analyzing higher volumes of data.

  • Apple Is a Benchmark Setter In Healthcare & Medical Research

One good thing about Apple is that whatever they do, they become a transformative force and service benchmark-standard in that sector.

The early adoptions of Apple-based health apps reveal the same story – Let good health be accessible to all.


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