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Apple wants to take over your healthcare

Apple wants to take over your healthcare
photo courtesy of shutterstock

Between doctors, specialists and hospitals, it can be hard to keep track of all of your medical information. But, what if you could store all of your exercise and health information in one place? You might be able to do it sooner than you think.

Apple is expected to debut its new HealthKit with the iPhone 6 in September. The company is trying to make it a one-stop shop for users, doctors, hospitals and insurance companies. To do this, Apple is already working with big players in the healthcare industry to get feedback.

It's also working with companies to sync with apps that track health and exercise information that patients, doctors and insurance companies can access from HealthKit.

The iPhone maker has previously disclosed partnerships with Nike Inc., Epic, and the prestigious Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic, which boasts a suite of mobile apps. Mayo is reportedly testing a service to flag patients when results from apps and devices are abnormal, with follow-up information and treatment recommendations.

It'll take a while before the app can integrate with all of the health services Apple wants. That's because a lot of doctors and hospitals are using old technology that might not work with HealthKit. There's also legal concerns about how Apple will make sure patients' information stays private. The app will include a toggle feature that allows users to turn off info sharing.

HealthKit relies on the ability of users to share data. But depending on how that data is used, its partners – and potentially even Apple - may be subject to the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.

Even if it takes a while for the app to become fully functional, this sounds a like a pretty big first step. If all works out, HealthKit might be on its way to revolutionizing healthcare just like the iPhone did for cell phones.

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Source: Reuters
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