Predictions for Apple Healthkit’s effect on the Health Care Industry

Predictions for Apple Healthkit’s effect on the Health Care Industry

Earlier this year, Apple introduced the “Health” app and the supportive framework known as “Healthkit,” both coming to iOS8 in October. Since then, health care providers have been equally excited and puzzled about what it means for their brand(s) and for the industry as a whole. Here are some predictions from around the industry:

1. Patients will own their own data and health.

According to Haydn Shaughnessy at Forbes, Apple is positioning itself as an enabler for patient-owned data. Apple sees a future where Healthkit exists as a platform between patients and hospitals, where the patient is in the driver’s seat. Better informed patients and HCPs could lead to more preventative treatment plans, lessening the strain on the healthcare system. Hopefully, Health gets off the launchpad as more than just a data repository.

2. Patient adherence will increase through game theory and design.

Apple is known for intuitive user experiences and amazing design, but the major lesson they should have learned is what not to do. Apple’s core competency lies outside of predictive data (remember Ping? me neither), which is a must-have benefit for Healthkit. Apple should instead take a lesson from popular App Store developers like Rovio or Zynga by applying game theory to the Health app’s usage to build patient adherence. If users are willing to part with hundreds of dollars for pay-to-play apps, similar principles can have them walking a few extra steps, eating the right kind of foods, and getting enough sleep.

3. Diet and exercise tracking will become more specific and provide better insights.

Existing health apps like the Fitbit app set weight goals by setting a calorie deficit and tracking your calorie intake against calorie output. While many users have lost weight on a calorie-deficient diet, doctors now make claim that the types of calories you eat matter just as much as how many you eat. Health takes diet measurement a step further by tracking a broad spectrum of dietary metrics, including trace minerals and fats. The more that  can be observed about the kinds of calories users consume vs. the weight loss ramifications, the more insights can be made about the specific success or failure points of different weight loss regiments.

As more information is released (*leaked) about the the Apple suite of products that will support Health (including the iPhone 6 and the iWatch), the more we can expect 3rd party platforms like those for Health Care Providers to react accordingly. What do you think Health will bring to the health care system?

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