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BlogApple’s Healthcare Quest

Posted by Nash Ogden | October 1, 2014 | Blog, Healthcare Mobile Apps, Mobile App Development, Mobile apps

Apple’s Healthcare Quest

Apple’s Healthcare Quest
Apple has undoubtedly taken the battle to the next levels. It’s an entry with a bang! The announcement of Apple’s Watch, has made the world realize that Apple is here for some real serious business. Apple’s foray into the wearable technology market made many sit up and notice. It was all the more interesting and exciting as Apple launched the Watch, Health App (though Apple hasn’t explained how it works with the Watch) and the HealthKit, all targeted at the healthcare industry. Integration is something to watch for here. With all the 3 having their own functionalities, it is interesting to note how these could be integrated and fit the big picture. In a way, this also indicates how fragmented the health industry is and the benefits it could receive through big players investing in them. The success of course will be defined based on its traction with the consumers and the levels at which the data is being used by the clinical side. Now, it’s all only about the data… Gathering data is only one part of it; however it is that which requires impeccable accuracy and systematic tracking and monitoring and what is more interesting to watch is the how the data is put to use. Apple has only touched the tip of the ice berg with technologies being developed for the first levels of healthcare – health tracking. Apple’s strategy for the healthcare space warrants a wait and watch approach as it has only forayed into data gathering phase for now. The integration phase is the next important one wherein Apple has to integrate into the healthcare professionals’ existing systems to exploit the data even further and reap the actual benefits. Apple’s partnership with EHR maker Epic to develop an app named Haiku, enabling doctors access to patient records is a first move towards connecting the dots and an attempt towards breaking the silos. Though it is obvious that the general data collected by fitness trackers isn’t comprehensive enough to make a diagnosis, it still is of vital importance to determine a person’s health condition. These data will definitely aid in diagnosis. This again may give an idea about the levels of physician interference required and frequency of doctor visit, however it does not take to the next levels of securing an appointment with a doctor so as to complete the phase. It is hence left to the physician’s discretion to decipher the data and decide on the visit. With Apple being currently the most personal device created, it is expected to re-define the way consumers approach a watch. The watch’s self-personalization function is Apple’s trump card that sends out intelligent reminders to keep the wearer motivated and on track. It can also suggest and set goals that are personalized which makes it more realistic and achievable. With Apple more inclined towards security (as compared with Google), it does enjoy a more trust.Also, the concept of a larger format iPhone is a well-thought move as a larger format shows more data, making the experience less complex. With strict development guidelines in place and a higher emphasis on security, healthcare mobile application development can reach far and wide. Despite the initial setback, iPhones 6 and iPhone 6 Plus did have a record sale of 10 million units even in the first three days explaining the excitement and the desperateness with which the healthcare industry is awaiting to digitize the fragmented industry. For the starters, Apple’s HealthKit’s attempt towards unifying the wearables, fitness apps and personal data backed by iPhones and iPads updated with iOS 8, is definitely an impressionable step.

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