According to a new report from Reuters, Apple's announced partnership with EHR provider Epic Systems may not be an exclusive one. The news outlet says Apple is in talks with Allscripts about how HealthKit could integrate with its systems, as well as with Johns Hopkins, Mt. Sinai, and the Cleveland Clinic. Of these organizations, all but the Cleveland Clinic declined to comment.
All the hospitals in question are Epic customers, so it's also possible they will integrate with HealthKit via Apple's partnership with the EHR vendor.
But a partnership with more than just one EHR vendor and one hospital (Mayo Clinic, which was announced at WWDC) makes sense for Apple, which is apparently trying hard to make HealthKit a clinical play as well as a consumer one -- unlike Google Fit, which appears to be focused entirely on fitness and wellness. Indeed, it benefits Apple to reach as many doctors and patients as possible when HealthKit roles out in September.
In a recent interview with MobiHealthNews, Beth Israel Deaconess's CIO John Halamka also suggested his hospital was getting ready to work with HealthKit, although he said that he hadn't actually seen the technology.
"I haven’t seen HealthKit, but the way I’ve been told it will work is HealthKit will receive the data from your devices and then you, the patient, decide which apps on your iPhone are trustworthy and you have access to that data," he said at the time. "So you could download an app from Beth Israel Deaconness and say 'I give permission for the Beth Israel app to access my health data repository.'"
Allscripts in particular is an interesting choice, if true, because it has a long history with mobile apps, APIs, and integration with patient-generated health data.
Allscript's Wand app has been on the market for two years for iOS, and just recently launched a version for Windows phone. Representatives from Allscripts appeared at the HX Refactored conference in Brooklyn, New York this past May to speak to developers about the Allscripts' app store, an open platform on which developers can build add-ons for the EHR.
On the topic of patient-generated data, Allscripts was the first EHR to integrate with WellDoc's mobile DiabetesManager, the precursor to its BlueStar product. That patient-generated data integration happened way back in 2010.
In other Apple news, a rumor from NativeMobile suggests that although Apple's forthcoming wrist-worn device, generally referred to as the iWatch, will be unveiled some time in September, it's set for a commercial launch on November 14th. They're also reporting a low-end price point of $199 for the device, which would place it on par with the most expensive fitness trackers, such as the Basis Band. Basis, which includes a heart rate sensor, positions itself intentionally as the luxury option in the category.