Apple reportedly talks with health care providers about HealthKit

Having already struck a partnership with the Mayo Clinic, the iPhone maker has discussed the health data tracking software with Mount Sinai and Johns Hopkins among others, Reuters reports.

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HealthKit's unveiling in June. Tim Stevens/CNET

Apple has reportedly been in discussions with a wide range of health care providers regarding HealthKit, the iPhone maker's software that will let consumers track health-related data.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant has discussed the new platform with Mount Sinai, the Cleveland Clinic, and Johns Hopkins, as well as medical records providers Allscripts and Epic Systems, Reuters reported Monday. While Reuters noted that the talks may not lead to anything substantive, the discussions further underscore Apple's health-related ambitions.

Unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco in June, HealthKit is meant to be a hub for tracking users' health data. As part of Apple's iOS 8, HealthKit includes a corresponding app named Health that can be used with third-party fitness devices.

Apple said at HealthKit's unveiling that many medical institutions had already signed on as partners, including the Mayo Clinic, which has an integration with HealthKit that goes to work when patients do things like checking their blood pressure rating. The software will automatically check to see if the rating is within the set parameters, and notify the hospital if it is not so doctors can check in with their patients more quickly.

Health has become a big focus area for companies across the tech sector. Several have introduced health-centric gadgets, such as the Samsung Gear Fit and Jawbone Up24, and countless others are working on smart glucose meters and similar products. Other companies see an opportunity to mine patient data or collect readings on individuals to predict when they'll get sick and tailor treatment.

Apple arch-rival Samsung, for one, has made a big push in health with its mobile devices. Its Galaxy S5 smartphone and Gear Fit incorporate heart-rate monitors and health-focused apps, and it has also unveiled efforts to develop new sensors and a cloud-based platform for collecting health data.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

 

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