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Apple Inc. is foraying into the healthcare sector by introducing a new application (app) “Healthkit” which will be used to manage consumer health data. [1] As the world’s second largest information technology company (by revenue) and the leading vendor of U.S. smartphones, Apple has the potential to impact consumer health behavior through adoption of their healthcare products.

Solution Information

The app is shares data between and among users. Expected to be announced on September 9, 2014 as part of their new iPhone operating system iOS 8, the new Healthkit app is aimed at creating a data repository or dashboard to track health and fitness vitals, emergency contacts, food intake and other bodily failures/successes-these include heart rate, calories burned, blood sugar, cholesterol, sleep, blood type, allergies and other emergency information. The health information for the data is housed in a central and secure location and users have exclusive rights as to which data is to be shared with the app. [2]

Given Apple’s market share leverage and the potential of health and fitness apps to facilitate data sharing of health information (e.g. blood pressure readings, nutrition information) with doctors; healthcare apps like Healthkit may represent a new medium for electronic health record storage and data sharing driven by consumers. [1]

Epic EHR Integration

On October 6, 2014, Oschsner Health System successfully integrated its EHR with the new Apple HealthKit. It is estimated that 53 percent of Americans use and store their medical records within the Epic EHR, and its MyChart application is the most used patient in the United States.[3]Epic’s EHR will access HealthKit data from the MyChart app, not via direct integration with HealthKit platform to avoid potential HIPAA regulatory and privacy issues.[3] With the integration of both system users have more control over their health data and how it is being shared on the go via-mobile device platforms.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Integration

On April 26, 2015, Apple Inc.’s health-tracking software announced it was being connected to patient files at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, marking the largest integration yet for the tech company’s foray into the health industry. The hospital updated its online medical records system that weekend, turning on access to HealthKit for more than 80,000 patients, Darren Dworkin, chief information officer at Cedars-Sinai, said in an interview. “This is just another set of data that we’re confident our physicians will take into account as they make clinical and medical judgments,” Dworkin said. “We don’t really, fully know and understand how patients will want to use this and we’re going to basically stand ready to learn by what will happen.” [4]

Initial Pilots

Duke Medicine

The "HealthKit Integration Project" at Duke Medicine is an initial pilot that targets feasibility and safety. [5]

The HealthKit is utilized as follows:

  • Patient data is shared according to patient preference.
  • HealthKit is activated by physician.
  • An alert is received by the patient to notify that data sharing can start.
  • A consent is provided by the patient for Epic MyChart app to read that healthcare data and then send it to healthcare institution.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Apple - Healthkit Developer
  2. - Healthkit
  3. 3.0 3.1 Pennic, F. (2014, October 06). Ochsner health’s epic ehr integrates with apple healthkit. Retrieved from
  4. - Apple’s HealthKit Linked to Patients at Big Los Angeles Hospital
  5. 5.0 5.1 Duke looks toward next steps with Apple HealthKit