Apple is wasting little time in marketing its HealthKit service to some of the nation’s best hospitals. Fourteen out of 23 top hospitals said they have already rolled out a pilot program for the service or are in talks to do so according to a recent report from Reuters.
Similar to services in the pipeline from rivals Google and Samsung, HealthKit allows physicians to remotely monitor a patient’s health by gathering data from connected devices like Wi-Fi scales, food and exercise-tracking apps and glucose measuring tools.
The hope is that by watching for early warning signs, doctors can catch an issue before it becomes a major medical problem that requires hospitalization or worse, results in death.
While there aren’t a ton of connected devices on the market today, that’s expected to change rapidly over the next several years. According to a recent report from Cisco, the number of wearable devices is expected to climb to 578 million globally by 2019.
As for HealthKit, Apple Watch is due out in April and should supplement the current lack of patient health data.
Several of the hospitals the publication spoke with said they are anxious to try Google’s health and fitness tracking platform, Google Fit, seeing as there are already so many Android-powered smartphones in the wild. The search giant has several developer partners working on Fit but didn’t comment on pilot programs with hospitals.
Samsung, which has a relationship with the University of California’s San Francisco Medical Center, is currently working with Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital on the development of its mobile health platform.
Despite several competing platforms currently in the works, experts believe that a common standard will ultimately be needed so data can be gathered and analyzed from all platforms.