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” … 

The Apple CEO said then that users would see real benefits.

“HealthKit, I think, is going to be profound because it enables you to take all of the information from different apps and if you desire to you can share that information with a physician, you can share it or you can place it in a way that you can begin to correlate the data and find out some pretty interesting things about your health and be able to monitor it.”

One potentially controversial aspect of the Los Angeles hospital’s decision is that use of HealthKit data is opt-out, rather than opt-in. From a quote by Dworkin, it even appears there may be no way to opt-out while still using HealthKit.

Rather than turn it on as sort of an opt-in, we’ve basically enabled it for all of our patients. The opt-out is just don’t use it.

Tim Cook specifically referenced HealthKit users being able to make the choice, saying “if you desire to, you can share that information with a physician” (our emphasis). We’ve reached out to Mr. Dworkin for a comment on this, and will update when we receive one.

Apple this month announced a partnership with IBM to use HealthKit and ResearchKit data for medical research on an opt-in basis. Apple made its ResearchKit platform open-source, allowing researchers and developers to distribute data through compatible apps.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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