Apple Pushes Deeper Into Traditional Healthcare With New HealthKit Partnerships


Reuters reports on a number of emerging partnerships in the works between Apple and several major healthcare and health IT entities as the company ramps up preparations for the launch of its HealthKit data aggregation platform.

HealthKit was originally unveiled in June at the 2014 Worldwide Developer Conference. It was introduced as a developer tool that would operate as a central data repository, storing any health data generated by third-party apps and then sharing the data with any other health apps that had a use for it. When the concept was introduced, it was presented in conjunction with two key early partnerships, Mayo Clinic and Epic Systems. Mayo is developing a HealthKit-enabled app that will push patient-specific health information to users as new health data is entered into the HealthKit platform.  Epic Systems is building integration points between its popular EHR platform and the Apple HealthKit app, ultimately allowing users to share chronic disease management metrics, like glucose readings, BMI, and blood pressure, with their local care providers.

Now, Apple is looking to expand its HealthKit partnerships. According to a recent Reuters report, Apple is in talks with Allscripts to extend EHR integration capabilities beyond just Epic. The company is also working to finalize agreements with Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, and Mount Sinai. As is customary with Apple rumors, few details are available on the nature of the partnerships, but it is likely that Apple is looking to the health systems to add to its growing library of health apps.

The news comes just on the heels of an iOS 8 beta release that drew media coverage because it introduced a number of new, previously unreported healthcare features within the next generation operating system, including dedicated space for spirometry data tracking, and a host of new security and privacy settings. Apple has also announced a media event scheduled for September 9 where many are reporting the company will unveil the iPhone 6. Rumor has the long awaited iWatch unveil following shortly after in October, though its possible that both could be introduced in September.

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