At WWDC last week, Apple unveiled iOS 8 and along with iOS 8, they revealed their long-rumored plans for a health app, HealthKit and Health – which was originally known as HealthBook, or so the rumors say. For those unfamiliar, HealthKit is the space where your medical information will be stored, while the Health app is will be the actual app that displays everything.
From the layman’s perspective, it sounds like it could be a pretty cool tool and useful when it comes to checking up on your vitals, like how far you’ve run, calories burnt, steps taken, and etc., but how do professionals feel about it? Are doctors just as enamored about the Health app as the rest of the regular folk?
When posed with a question on Quora, an emergency room doctor in training, Jae Won Joh, replied in the affirmative, listing some examples and explaining why Apple’s HealthKit and Health features had a lot of potential. Joh was initially unimpressed at the start, feeling that it was “just another way for consumer apps like Nike+ and sleep trackers to output their data into pretty charts.”
However when he saw how electronic medical records were handled, it caught his attention. Apparently as it stands, getting a patient’s medical records can be a convoluted and outdated process, involving patients to fill out consent forms and then sending the request over by fax, and then receive the data via fax which can be hard to read due to the nature of fax paper. With HealthKit, it will present the patient’s information in a single, unified screen that doctors can see at a glance.
Other advantages that Joh highlighted was how x-ray scans could be uploaded into the cloud and sent to a different hospital who might have a better specialist, rather than using more traditional methods of creating a CD/DVD and processing it, which could be time better spent doing something else.
All of this sounds good on paper but how much of it will actually be used remains to be seen, but what do you guys think? Will HealthKit revolutionize the medical industry?