Apple Watch Sees Broad Early Adoption Across Enterprise Health IT

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Apple Watch is enjoying an impressive boost from enterprise health IT firms as business after business takes advantage of this week’s HIMSS conference to announce new Apple Watch products that they’ll be launching in the coming weeks. With the health-focused hype that led up to the release of Apple Watch, its not surprising that health IT firms would take advantage of the buzz generated by announcing a new health IT app, what is surprising is that these companies are jumping into Apple Watch development even after the initial launch, which left out many of the rumored health IT-related features,  was widely seen as a disappointment.

Cerner kicked off the frenzy last week when it announced a new Apple Watch app for patients that it hopes will bridge the gap between patient-generated health data and enterprise EHRs. Brian Carter, Cerner’s senior director for personal health “This is just the first step in the evolution of sharing personal health data — to provide physicians with access to actionable data anytime, anywhere, not just what’s collected at the doctor’s office.”

AthenaHealth followed with its own AppleWatch announcement. Unlike Cerner, Athena is building an app for physicians that will support clinical workflows through new features like AthenaText, a secure HIPPA-complaint clinical messaging system, or a medical reference system delivered through its Epocrates database.

Next up came HealthTap and WebMD. HealthTap has launched a Apple Watch-focused telehealth app that offers virtual consultations for $2.99 per minute. The app promises to enhance clinical decision making for its telehealth doctors by providing them access to the personal health data being captured by the Apple Watch. WebMD is building a medication adherence app called “Medication Reminder” which will maintain an active list of medications and patient instructions, and will issue reminders when it’s time for the patient to take their medication. "One of the most significant barriers to achieving positive patient outcomes is the issue of medication non-compliance, which remains a largely unsolved problem today," said WebMD President Dr. Steven Zatz.


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