Major LA hospital integrating HealthKit data into patient records, but unclear if they can opt out

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LA’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is now integrating HealthKit data into patient records to provide doctors with a more comprehensive picture of the health of the patients they are treating, reports Bloomberg.

The hospital updated its online medical records system this weekend, turning on access to HealthKit for more than 80,000 patients, Darren Dworkin, chief information officer at Cedars-Sinai, said in an interview.

“This is just another set of data that we’re confident our physicians will take into account as they make clinical and medical judgments,” Dworkin said.

Tim Cook said back in February that he thought this type of use of HealthKit would be “profound” …  Read more

Apple’s open source ResearchKit framework for medical researchers is now available

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Apple announced today that its new ResearchKit platform is now available to medical researchers as an open source framework. Apple first unveiled ResearchKit on stage last month during the March event, promising that it would be available as an open source framework for developers and medical researchers this month. The framework enables the medical community to use the iPhone to distribute actual medical and health research through ResearchKit-enabled apps. Read more

IBM announces new partnership w/ Apple for HealthKit & ResearchKit data

Apple CEO Tim Cook with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty

Apple CEO Tim Cook with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty

IBM this evening has announced a new dedicated health unit that will deepen its relationship with Apple. The service, called Watson Health, will use the data collected with Apple’s HealthKit and ResearchKit services to provide information to various other companies including Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic. From there, those companies can integrate the data into services they offer to healthcare companies. Apple will work to integrate Watson-based apps into HealthKit and ResearchKit for these purposes (via Forbes).

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Apple needn’t fear over-regulation of Apple Watch health & fitness functionality, says FDA

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While health tech has to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the agency will be taking “an almost hands-off approach” to fitness-oriented wearables like the Apple Watch, says policy advisor Bakul Patel in an interview in Bloomberg.

“We are taking a very light touch, an almost hands-off approach,” Patel, the FDA’s associate director for digital health, said in an interview. “If you have technology that’s going to motivate a person to stay healthy, that’s not something we want to be engaged in.”

Patel said the FDA would be drawing a distinction between products whose health claims focused on fitness rather than diagnosis …  Read more

Apple execs talk developing ResearchKit: ‘there’s a strong personal connection’

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Apple SVP Jeff Williams announcing ResearchKit

Following the introduction of ResearchKit at this month’s Apple event, Apple executives Jeff Williams and Bud Tribble held a question and answer session with Apple employees regarding the new initiative, according to a source who provided a transcript of the conversation. Williams, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Operations, is the top executive in charge of Apple’s health engineering initiatives, including the Apple Watch, HealthKit, ResearchKit, and fitness software. Tribble is a Software Engineering Vice President with a medical background as a doctor, and he organized many of the partnerships for both HealthKit and ResearchKit…

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ResearchKit did in 24 hours what would normally take 50 medical centers a year – Stanford University

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Stanford University said that 11,000 iPhone owners signed up for a heart health study using Apple’s newly-announced ResearchKit in the first 24 hours–completely unprecedented numbers.

“To get 10,000 people enrolled in a medical study normally, it would take a year and 50 medical centers around the country,” said Alan Yeung, medical director of Stanford Cardiovascular Health, speaking to Bloomberg.

Stanford is one of five academic centers that have developed apps that use the iPhone’s built-in accelerometers, gyroscopes and GPS to provide data which assists in medical research. There are, say researchers, both pros & cons to recruiting study participants through ResearchKit …  Read more

Nike+ FuelBand iPhone app adds HealthKit integration, no longer requires a band

Nike today released a long-awaited update to its FuelBand app for iPhone users with the fitness tracking FuelBand wearable adding support for sharing NikeFuel points with Apple’s Health app on iOS 8. The update also adds support for motion tracking right from the iPhone for iPhone 5s users and up and no longer requires a Nike FuelBand to use.

The new version uses HealthKit, a framework introduced with iOS 8, to let Nike’s FuelBand app share data easily and with your permission to Apple’s built-in Health app and other apps that integrate with HealthKit. NikeFuel, the fitness company’s metric for tracking movement throughout the day, is featured as a supported fitness metric in Apple’s own Health app. Read more

Apple Watch expected to support glucose monitor for diabetics from launch date

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Diabetics using a glucose monitor made by DexCom will be able to see a continuous graph of their blood sugar levels on the Apple Watch, says the company. It is working on an app for the smartwatch that is expected to be available when the Apple Watch launches in April – alongside a similar app for the iPhone.

DexCom’s glucose monitor tracks a person’s blood-sugar levels continuously. The [app] converts that data into a simple graph that is just a glance at the wrist away.

The WSJ reports that the early availability of the app has been made possible thanks to the Food and Drug Administration taking a more hands-off approach as of last month. While medical hardware still requires FDA approval before it can be sold, companion apps no longer need prior approval – developers simply have to notify the FDA that the app exists …  Read more

Reuters: HealthKit pilot programs rolling out in over half of the top 23 hospitals

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Reuters tonight reported that it recently polled 23 of the nation’s top hospitals and found that 14 of them have already launched the first stages of programs built on Apple’s HealthKit software in place, or have plans to do so in the near future.

These programs will allow doctors to monitor patients with chronic medical conditions and alert them at the first sign of a problem, giving users the ability to take preventative action rather than reactive. These programs will likely be expanded to include data collected by the Apple Watch when it debuts later this year.

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iOS 8.2 brings back blood glucose tracking, explains Health data

In addition to supporting WatchKit and the Apple Watch, the iOS 8.2 software update will re-introduce some previously removed features in Apple’s Health app on iOS 8 as well as provide some feature enhancements. As discovered in the latest iOS 8.2 beta for developers, Apple is reintroducing support for blood glucose tracking through the iOS 8 Health app after an issue with which unit of measurement the app defaulted to presenting problems for international users of the feature. The somewhat intimidating Health app is also getting a little smarter with brief descriptions for the various data points tracked by the app listed under each section. Read more

Holiday Gift Guide: Health gadgets — get a healthy start for 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2When the new year rolls around, a lot of us have New Year’s resolutions to become a healthier person and plan to exercise more. Last year I set my New Year’s resolution to do just that. However, last year was the first year I really used technology and wearables to help me with my journey, and I successfully lost sixty pounds. These gadgets helped me with my weight loss journey. They can keep you focused, inspire you, motivate you, and carry your gear.

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