Following a record-breaking fundraising year, with Venture Capitalists investing more than ever before in emerging healthcare technologies, the U.S. health tech market is poised to make even greater strides in 2015.
Fourteen of 23 top U.S. hospitals contacted by Reuter’s said that they are in the process of rolling out pilot programs to integrate with Apple’s HealthKit service, or have plans to do so.
The HealthKit service “works by gathering data from sources such as glucose measurement tools, food and exercise-tracking apps and Wi-fi connected scales,” according to Christina Farr in a Reuters.com article titled, Exclusive: Apple’s health tech takes early lead among top hospitals.
Healthcare providers are looking to leverage the extensive amount of data Apple is already able to collect across a range of apps and tools.
“Can I interface to every possible device that every patient uses?” asks John Halamka, chief information officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.
“No, but Apple can.”
The AppleWatch, which is slated to ship in April, will augment this data with additional metrics which can, with the individual user’s consent, be transmitted automatically to his or her primary healthcare provider.
“If we had more data, like daily weights, we could give the patient a call before they need to be hospitalized,” explains Chief Clinical Transformation Officer Dr. Richard Milani, who is working with Apple and Epic Systems to develop a program to more actively monitor — and better serve — high-risk patients at New Orleans’ Ochsner Medical Center.
In addition to high-risk patients, healthcare providers are also looking to Apple and other emerging healthcare technologies to help them transition from sick-care to health-care, and provide better support to what many in the industry are calling the “worried well,” or those healthy individuals who use these kinds of tools proactively to manage and track their health stats, even though they are considered “low-risk.”
But the wealth of newly-available patient health data presents a unique set of challenges in and of itself — healthcare providers must learn not only how to parse the data into meaningful, useful information points, but also how to quality the integrity of the data they receive. Additionally, they must figure out how to integrate the various systems and services collecting patient health data in order to facilitate both the management and dissection of the data itself.
At BedWatch, we understand the importance of integration and usability, which is why we have built our products to interface with any other hospital system, and designed them to be extremely intuitive and easy to use.
For more information about BedWatch and how our technology tools can help improve operational efficiency and quality of care at your hospital, please contact us.