At least 14 hospitals are now either actively involved in a HealthKit pilot or in talks to roll one out, according to a new report from Reuters. Google and Samsung are beginning to approach hospitals to use their platform as well.
Reuters didn't name the 14 hospitals, but several have already spoken publicly about using HealthKit: Oschner Medical Center in New Orleans, Stanford Children's Hospital, Penn Medicine, and Duke University Hospital. An earlier Reuter's report named several others: Johns Hopkins, Mt. Sinai Hospital, and the Cleveland Clinic. And Beth Israel Deaconess CIO John Halamka has spoken at length about using the technology.
Reuters reported that Oschner is already working with several hundred patients on a blood pressure tracking pilot and that Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles is developing "visual dashboards" to present patient-generated data to physicians. The chief technology officer at Epic Systems, Sumit Rana, told the publication that smartphone-connected patient-generated data was an idea whose time has come.
"We didn't have smartphones ten years ago; or an explosion of new sensors and devices," Rana told Reuters.
In a recent investor call, Apple CEO Tim Cook also addressed the adoption of HealthKit by hospitals, and also said that Apple is working with "more than 600 developers," though he notably didn't give numbers on hospitals or individual apps connecting to HealthKit. Last November, a MobiHealthNews analysis found 137 publicly available apps that connected to HealthKit.
“There has also been incredible interest in HealthKit with over 600 developers now integrating it into their apps,” Cook said in the call. “Consumers can now choose to securely share their health and wellness metrics with these apps and this has led to some great, new and innovative experiences in fitness and wellness, food and nutrition and healthcare. For example, with apps such as an American Well, users can securely share data such as blood pressure, weight or activity directly with physicians, and leading hospitals such as Duke Medicine, Stanford Children and Penn Medicine are integrating data from HealthKit into their electronic medical record so that physicians can reach out to patients proactively when they see a problem that needs attention.”
As for Google and Samsung, Reuters reports that Samsung is working with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the University of California's San Francisco Medical Center, while Google hasn't announced any official partners. Reuters said a number of hospitals they spoke to are eager try a pilot of Google Fit, echoing the sentiments of Dr. Ricky Bloomfield at a recent mHealth Summit panel.
"I think Google needs to do a little bit more to get it into the place where HealthKit currently functions, but I can’t wait until we can use Android devices as well as iOS devices, one to the other,” Bloomfield said at the time. “For me the most important thing is we give this ability to our patients. And I don’t care which device they have, I just want them to be able to give us the data so we can make good clinical decisions to help them out.”