Two Trials Testing Apple’s HealthKit Are set to Start
Two United States hospitals are set to begin trials to test the effectiveness of Apple's HealthKit, which is a service that gathers health data onto one site. HealthKit's goal is to make healthcare easier by allowing doctors to view patient data that are collected from several apps on one place. In the trials, the researchers plan on recruiting patients diagnosed with diabetes and other kinds of chronic illnesses.
In the first trial headed by a team of doctors from the Stanford University Hospital, the physicians will use HealthKit to monitor diabetic children's blood sugar levels. The participants will be given an iPod touch in order to track their own blood sugar levels when they are not at the doctor's office. The device will be linked up with HealthKit, allowing the doctors to monitor the patients' blood sugar levels as well. When levels spike or fall drastically, doctors will be alerted, prompting them to inform the patients' parents immediately.
In the second trial, a team from Duke University is preparing a pilot study to monitor blood pressure levels, weight and other health issues in patients suffering from heart disease or cancer.
"This could eliminate the hassle of getting data from patients, who want to give it to us," said Duke University's Ricky Bloomfield, an internal medicine pediatrician and director of mobile strategy according to Reuters. "HealthKit removes some of the error from patients' manually entering their data."
For both trials, the research teams want to determine whether or not using HealthKit will help them predict and warn their patients about future health complications that might arise.
In order to protect the patients' identity, Apple might create a "HealthKit Certification" for third party developers. This certification would inform other groups on how to securely store patients'' data. It would also prevent these groups from selling data to advertisers.
The trials are set to begin in the next few weeks.