Apple's health care technology is spreading quickly among major U.S. hospitals, showing early promise as a way for doctors to monitor patients remotely and lower costs. Fifteen of 23 top hospitals contacted by Reuters said they have rolled out a pilot program of Apple's HealthKit service — which acts as a repository for patient-generated health information like blood pressure, weight or heart rate — or are in talks to do so. The pilots aim to help physicians monitor patients with such chronic conditions as diabetes and hypertension. Apple rivals Google and Samsung Electronics, which have released similar services, are only just starting to reach out to hospitals and other medical partners. Such systems hold the promise of allowing doctors to watch for early signs of trouble and intervene before a medical problem becomes acute. That could help hospitals avoid repeat admissions, for which they are penalized under new U.S. government guidelines, all at a relatively low cost.
Those trying out Apple's service included at least eight of the 17 hospitals on one list ranking the best hospitals, the U.S. News & World Report's Honor Roll. Apple's HealthKit works by gathering data from sources such as glucose measurement tools, food and exercise-tracking apps and WiFi connected scales.