Apple Eyeing Healthcare Sector With The iPad

Apple’s ambitions to ensure that every hospital patient has an iPad has already begun with a couple of hospitals located in the United States. This includes in such hospitals as Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai, Chicago’s MetroSouth Medical Center and UC San Diego’s Jacobs Medical Center.

By giving them iPads hospital patients get access to educational tools, their care team and their vitals. In the absence of the iPads, the care team of a patient, which includes nurses and doctors, has to look up physical medical records and then write up more duplicate information on the white board which is usually found in a patient’s room back wall. This is not only inefficient but can led to mistakes as a result of running out of room on the white board which can consequently lead to confusion.

$3 trillion industry

For a sector that is worth $3 trillion, the health care industry provides the growth potential that Apple requires for the iPad. While iPads have been in use in hospitals for as long as the iPad has existed, it’s only recently that the Cupertino, California-based tech giant publicly disclosed its interests in the health care sector. Part of the reason why iPads have been favored over other devices from other manufacturers is due to the security and privacy that iOS offers.

“Apple now feels like the safest choice,” Si Luo, a developer at Patient Safe Solutions, said.

As a platform, Apple is collaborating with top developers in order to build health apps. The iPhone maker has introduced software services such as HealthKit, Research Kit and CareKit which make the pulling together of such disparate information as heart rate, sleep and steps easy for consumers and mobile developers.

Software services

The first software service to be introduced was HealthKit which was designed with the goal of making it convenient for developers and programmers to obtain health data after getting the consent of the user. ResearchKit, on the other hand, is designed to assist researchers in recruiting via mobile participants or patients for studies.

CareKit is designed to assist patients suffering from chronic conditions the ability to share data with the care team tending to them. Besides developers Apple is also partnering with medical record firms such as Epic Systems.

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