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Apple Preps HealthKit Rollout: In Discussions with Health Care Providers

Update Date: Aug 12, 2014 11:02 AM EDT
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According to some sources, Apple Inc. is currently in discussions with certain health care providers in regards to its "HealthKit," a service that collects health data on one site that can be accessed by consumers and health providers. The company has detailed its latest software to Mount Sinai, the Cleveland Clinic, John Hopkins and Allscripts, which is a competitor to Epic Systems, a company that provides electronic health records.

Although Apple has not provided specific information on its HealthKit, which is expected to be a part of the iPhone 6 that is debuting this September, the company hopes that the software program can act as a data center for physicians. Currently, multiple third-party health care software apps and medical devices collect health data. The data are not stored in any central hub.

"Apple is going into this space with a data play," commented Forrester Research's health care analyst Skip Snow according to Reuters. "They want to be a hub of health data."

Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT, a Washington-based organization that represents mobile app developers, added, "Everybody is knocking on the door. But I doubt that HealthKit will merge with all the existing systems."

HealthKit was introduced back in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, CA. The software, which will be connected to an app called Health, works by tracking the users' health data, such as blood pressure, pulse and weight. So far, Apple has disclosed partnerships with Nike Inc., Epic and Mayo Clinic.

"Apple has engaged with some of the most important players in this space," said Kaiser Permanente's Brian Gardner. "Platforms like HealthKit are infusing the market with a lot of new ideas and making it easier for creative people to build for health care."

Reporters noted that the talks might not lead to anything concrete.

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