Pushing Health App Data to Doctors: A Burden or an Asset?
Apple announced recently, it will enable doctors to monitor health data from their patients’ phones and watches between visits, part of the push into health care that Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has declared will constitute the company’s greatest contribution to mankind.
Since 2014, health systems around the country have partnered with Apple to tap into the mountains of data the company’s devices generate from patients. But most are still experimenting with these tools. While some doctors appreciate seeing records of home-monitored blood pressure, exercise, and the like between visits, for others the data is more of a burden than an asset.
Over 100 types of data are available in Apple’s health app through iPhone, Apple Watch, and third-party apps. In June, Apple said patients whose doctors work with one of the six electronic medical record companies participating in the new feature will be able to send them tracked data like heart rate, sleep hours, exercise minutes, steps, falls, or menstrual cycle history.
Some see great promise in building “pipes” between a patient’s phone and the health records viewed by their clinicians. Apple is “democratizing the flow of health data” between doctors and patients, said Anil Sethi, a former Apple health director and current CEO of Ciitizen, a startup that manages health data for cancer patients.