Major hospitals in the U.S. are already piloting or are in the process of piloting Apple’s HealthKit, a healthcare technology service that allows for remote monitoring of patients. According to a Reuters survey, at least 14 out of the 23 top healthcare providers in the U.S. have made contacts with Apple with regards to HealthKit implementation.
Apple’s early lead with HealthKit comes at a time when its rivals Google and Samsung Electronics are only getting started in their efforts to reach out to medical partners and hospitals for the adoption of their healthcare systems. HealthKit and similar healthcare systems seek to allow doctors to monitor patients with chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes for quick intervention.
Working with different providers
Experts have cited that the challenge that hospitals are likely to face with the adoption of healthcare technologies is working with systems from competing providers. According to Brian Carter of Cerner, a vendor of electronic medical records, there will be problems unless common standards are put in place to support gathering of data from the systems of different providers.
Perhaps that explains why many hospitals have shown a preference for Google Fit, another healthcare technology. The reason for the excitement with Google Fit is that is based on Google’s mobile OS known as Android that powers most smartphones in the world today.
Benefits of healthcare technologies
There are no doubts about the potential benefits of healthcare technologies such as HealthKit and Google Fit. One of the benefits of such systems is that they support quick intervention and can also lower costs for patients. The other benefit is that hospitals will be able to eliminate incidents of repeat admissions, which usually attract government fines under the new healthcare regulations.
Paying for performance
Hospitals may also find healthcare technologies important now that Affordable Care Act calls for payment for performance rather than mere service. Such shifts in medical reimbursement mean that providers require better tools to bolsters their performance.
According to research firm, IDC Health Insights, about 70% of health organizations worldwide are expected to invest more in healthcare technologies such as remote monitoring, apps and wearables by 2018. Currently, the U.S. healthcare market is about $3 billion.