Apple HealthKit rolled out to hospitals

Apple's HealthKit is starting to be rolled out to hospitals in the US to remotely monitor patients with chronic conditions to save on resources.

Reuters contacted 23 hospitals, with 14 of them saying they have already begun using a pilot program involving Apple's health care technology. Information such as blood pressure, heart rate and weight can be transmitted back to doctors, allowing them to monitor patients without having to admit them.

This could be particularly useful for patients suffering from conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, with doctors able to keep track of their health remotely.

Dr Richard Milani, chief clinical transformation officer at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, who has been working on a pilot program with Apple and Epic Systems, said: "If we had more data, like daily weights, we could give the patient a call before they need to be hospitalised."

According to IDC Health Insights, 70 per cent of US healthcare organisations are set to invest in technology such as apps and wearables by 2018.

Many of the hospitals spoken to by Reuters expressed interest in using Android's rival service Google Fit given that it is compatible the most widely used operating system.

HealthKit has the potential to collect patient-generated data, referring it back to the users' doctors with their consent. The technology caused controversy in 2014 when worries about how the information could be used surfaced. In November, for example, an app that used the data to predict when someone would die emerged.

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

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