Medical records will be a key factor in Apple’s health strategy

As Apple enters the healthcare market, establishing itself as a platform for consumers’ personal health records will be central to the tech giant’s strategy for apps, services and wearables, according to a new report from research firm CB Insights. According to the report, Apple aims to exploit the inadequacy of the third-party developer ecosystem for medical data by building the first open marketplace platform modeled on the attractive third-party developer ecosystem it has created in the App Store. . .

Apple’s current market players include health IT and Electronic medical record (EMR) companies as well as medical device makers that are making consumer-facing goods, the report said. By empowering patients to make decisions and providing access to data to anyone they choose, Apple’s strategy has the potential to become a new paradigm for healthcare, the research firm suggested.

The company acquired personal health records startup Gliimpse in 2016. Step trackers and calendars give consumers reason to use the app on a regular basis, which also tracks health metrics such as physical activity, mindfulness, nutrition and sleep. Apple said in 2018 that it would integrate EMR data into iPhone health records and would open up APIs to third parties through a software development tool called HealthKit.


The report notes that Apple is part of an organization that pushes the “Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR)” technology to improve the standard for data exchange between hospitals, doctors and other interested parties. According to CB Insights, more than 120 healthcare organizations are part of the beta version of Apple Health Records, including Adventist Health System, Mount Sinai, Cleveland Clinic, Intermountain Healthcare and LabCorp.

Apple’s strength lies in its strong brand. The report states: “The notoriously poor brand and customer experience of the various existing healthcare companies has been a major focus for Apple. As healthcare evolves towards a more proactive model, this requires patient coverage, having A strong brand is the main factor.” states.

Apple could also reshape the medical research industry, CB Insights said. In 2015, the company launched ResearchKit, which allows medical researchers to conduct research using the iPhone. The toolkit simplifies the process of registering studies and can identify qualified candidates through their health records. It also enables remote monitoring of patients. Building on the success of ResearchKit, Apple launched CareKit in 2016, allowing doctors and hospitals to monitor patients.

The company has taken a major step in the medical device space, receiving approval from the FDA in September for an Apple Watch Series 4 app that provides a single-lead electrocardiogram for heart monitoring. CB Insights said Apple has built other health capabilities with key partners in areas such as mindfulness and physical activity, treatment of stroke patients, psychiatric care support, ADHD, migraine prevention and overeating.

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