Sunday, June 08, 2014

It Seems Apple Has Decided To Take An Interest In Health IT. Big News?

Possibly on of the biggest bit of news in E-Health came from a very recent Worldwide Apple Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Here is some of the coverage:

Apple health app may bring HIE evolution

Source: Evan Schuman Date: Jun 4, 2014
Apple is rolling out an app to piece together healthcare information from many third-party apps, including from health systems, to give consumers and providers a new comprehensive medical view, setting the stage for new approaches to information exchange.
The new offering is called Apple HealthKit, although the app itself is simply called Health. It is impressive in its ability to present patients and doctors with a holistic view of medical data. The power of HealthKit, though, relies on changes in an Apple development tradition, where data for any app cannot be accessed by any other app or (for the most part) by the operating system. Although that data-sharing promises huge potential healthcare benefits, it also raises serious questions about security and privacy.
Apple's vision is that Health would collect a wide range of healthcare information – temperature, blood pressure, pulse, exercise speed/duration, photos/videos of a rash or the patient demonstrating motion limitations, glucose level, oxygen saturation, sleep apnea monitors, daily diet, etc. – via assorted Apple apps, from medical facilities, fitness apps from a bicycle manufacturer, sporting goods chain or perhaps a cereal company.
When data that a patient feeds into a trusted healthcare app, such as one from Mayo, is shared with other apps, there is the potential for that data to be lost in a data breach of one of those other third-party apps. If that happened, the Mayo patient would likely blame Mayo, even if the fault was within another company.
"Who allowed that Mayo data to migrate to that other app?" would be the patient's question.
"Our legacy is trusted and affordable care," said Dr. John Wald, the medical director for the Mayo Clinic's public affairs and marketing operation. "If we lose that trusted aspect, we've lost everything. We are committed to maintaining that trust."
And here:

Apple and Epic: A privacy disaster? — DeSalvo introduces interoperability roadmap — We stand amended

By ASHLEY GOLD | 06/05/14 10:01 AM EDT
With help from Arthur Allen and David Pittman
APPLE + EPIC ARE PAIRING UP TO TAKE YOUR HEALTH DATA: eHealth’s David Pittman takes a look at the Apple HealthKit announcement and what it means for patient privacy in an article coming out later today. Pretty perfect timing-we’re at the Health Privacy Summit this week, where the topic of who owns patient data and how to protect it is present in everyone’s mind. “Patient privacy watchdogs raised questions regarding privacy and data collection with health apps in Apple’s new operating system, worrying it could usher in a new era of trampled privacy rights…Privacy laws that govern what doctors and hospitals can and cannot do with patient information don’t apply to mobile health apps, meaning they are largely free to sell and disseminate the information collected.” Stay tuned for the full story coming this morning for Pros.
eHealth tweet of the day: @VinceKuraitis: Apple & Epic working together — like 2 porcupines mating. #HealthIT https://twitter.com/VinceKuraitis/status/473850891779715072/photo/1
And here:

Apple Includes Comprehensive Health Platform In iOS8

Greg Goth
JUN 2, 2014 9:58pm ET
As expected, Apple announced a major health platform in its new iOS8 mobile operating system at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
The company's Health app and HealthKit API platform include partnerships with Nike and Mayo Clinic, which Apple says will facilitate integration of personal health information across applications and among healthcare providers of a consumer's choosing.
"The new Health app gathers the information you choose from your various health apps and fitness devices, and provides you with a clear and current overview in one place," Apple said in announcing the new platform. "iOS 8 offers developers the ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other. With your permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness. For example, the Nike+ apps using NikeFuel will be able to pull in other key HealthKit metrics such as sleep and nutrition to build a custom user profile and improve athletic performance."
And here:

Apple reveals tracking app HealthKit and partners with Mayo Clinic, Epic

By: Jonah Comstock | Jun 2, 2014        
company announced its rumored native health tracking platform, which we now know to be called HealthKit. Rumors have circulated that the tracking platform would be called HealthBook, though we noted previously that was probably not the official name.
“Developers have created a vast array of healthcare devices and accompanying applications, everything from monitoring your activity level, to your heart rate, to your weight, and chronic medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.” Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said at the event. “But up until now the information gathered by those applications lives in silos. You can’t get a single comprehensive picture of your health situation. But now you can, with HealthKit. HealthKit provides a single place that applications can contribute to a composite profile of your activity and health.”
The platform HealthKit comes with a user-facing app simply called “Health”. 
“With Health, you can monitor all of the metrics you’re most interested and your activity, but not just that,” said Federighi. “You can use third-party applications. Now we carefully protect your privacy, so you have total control over which applications have access to your health information. But you can of course provide different activity, weight, heart rate information to the Nike app. And Nike’s working to integrate HealthKit, so they use that information to help you in your personalized fitness goals.”
And here:

Apple's first step into health tracking small but powerful

Date June 3, 2014 - 10:21AM

Samantha Murphy Kelly

Apple has marked its first steps into the health and fitness-tracking market with the introduction of its new Health app for iOS, which will debut to iPhone owners this fall.
Although Apple mentioned daily tracking capabilities and partnerships with companies like Nike and the Mayo Clinic, there wasn't anything revolutionary included in the announcement (which was already slim on details) that isn't on the market now.
But that's not to say something big isn't coming. Apple is likely just getting started.
"The app is a good move for Apple because anything that can simplify healthcare is smart, but what they did today was just make an entrance into the space," said Skip Snow, a healthcare analyst at Forrester Research. "There are many apps out there that already offer what they plan to do, but we know there's a lot more to come."
And last here:

Apple iOS 8 to offer health and home features, work more closely with mac

Date June 3, 2014
Apple has introduced new health and connected-home features for the software powering the iPhone and iPad, laying the groundwork for a busy second half of the year as the company seeks to rev up its growth.
The company announced the new mobile software, iOS 8, at its annual developer conference in San Francisco. The update, which Apple expects to release between September and November this year, includes HealthKit, which lets people monitor their health and acts as a data hub for fitness apps, and HomeKit, which includes home-automation elements so people can control locks, garage doors and lights from their devices.
Apple also showed new mobile search features that give direct links to relevant web pages if users are making certain common queries, letting people avoid Google. The company added new text messaging features, including a predictive typing tool, and a new feature to help people store more photos on their iPhones.
Apple's rivalry with Google was evident. Chief executive officer Tim Cook made several digs at Google's Android mobile software, including criticising it for having weak security.
The event was also used to announce the new version of Apple's home operating system for Macs, dubbed Yosemite, which includes a streamlined toolbar for using the calendar, clock and calculator. Apple also includes redesigned icons for apps included in the system - even the trash bin for holding unwanted files.
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This looks like a very interesting initiative and it certainly has involved some of the very big names (Epic, Mayo Clinic etc.)
Of course we all remember the failed efforts on Personal Health Records from Google  and the very slow progress that Microsoft has made with HealthVault.
Given the false starts we have seen in the past my feeling is we simply wait and see while keeping an active watching brief on what is happening and how well it is working.
Clarity on just what problems the HealthKit is intended to solve will also be of interest over time.
I thought a little sad a tiny Australian Start-Up had got caught up in this and may be disadvantaged.
See here:

What's in a name? Aussie 'HealthKit' firm unhappy with Apple

But anyone who thinks this is the start of a serious legal fight is simply wrong
Ryan Faas (Computerworld (US)) on 07 June, 2014 01:46
An Australian company has made a big deal this week of taking umbridge with Apple's use of the name HealthKit. That company, whose chief product is an app and service that allows users to aggregate health data from a variety of sources and send that data to their doctors, is named HealthKit.
It's obvious why the company's co-founder, Alison Hardacre, has -- intentionally or not -- started a media firestorm about Apple's use of the name. Apple's HealthKit, unveiled during the company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote on Monday, is based on what appears to be the same concept and uses the same name.
Stories about the brouhaha have spread throughout the tech and mainstream media. Most of them include comments from Hardacre originally published in Australia's Business Spectator, as well as a statement that she's considering legal action against Apple.
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David.

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