Apple Introduces Apple Watch Support For Its Enterprise Healthcare Apps

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In July 2014, Apple and IBM announced a new partnership in which the pair would co-develop a library of enterprise applications aimed at streamlining workflows within a variety of industries, including healthcare. An initial set of apps was released shortly after the announcement and then, in April 2015, Apple unveiled its first set of enterprise healthcare apps.

Four apps were unveiled as part of the April announcement. Each app was designed to support clinical care delivery, with nurses in mind as the primary end users. Hospital RN was designed to connect nurses with a patient’s EHR by using Apple’s indoor locator service iBeacon to automatically open the chart when nurses approach a patient’s bed. From within the same app, nurses are able to review results, patient requests, and safety alerts. The app also provides secure messaging tools between clinicians. Now, using the Hospital RN app, users will be able to receive the same notifications on an Apple Watch.

While Apple’s three other enterprise healthcare apps have not yet been upgraded to include Apple Watch support, another health-related app from Apple and IBM’s new library of enterprise apps did make the cut. Incident Aware is an app designed to help public officials coordinate resources during a public safety emergency. When a call comes in, first responders, dispatchers, and commanders are all able to coordinate on the app, which provides a birds-eye view of the scene including GPS map data of personnel locations and locations of people involved in the incident. Like Hospital RN, the app also provides push notifications to Apple Watch to inform personnel on the ground of any critical alerts as the situation changes.

While funding is flooding into digital health to advance the mobile tools available to health systems, Apple is quickly wading into the same space, bringing well-conceived apps that address industry-specific pain points. If Apple continues on this trajectory, competition for customers in the digital health space may grow fiercer than every.


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