Apple has a knack for changing the way the world functions. Starting with personal computers, Steve Jobs revolutionized many industries including music, animated movies, tablet computing, digital publishing and cell phones. As a Jobs fan, I feared that Apple’s innovation would falter with the passing of its genius.
That was until I started tuning into the buzz on Apple Health. The company might just surpass its late co-founder if it can succeed with its plans to enter the health-information industry. Apple just released both a Health App, simply called Health, and a cloud-based health-information platform called HealthKit.
Both of these tools could be game changers for registered dietitians. The new Health app is a hub designed to store important health data. Think metrics like blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate and stats on diet and exercise — all in one location that can easily be accessed and shared. HealthKit is designed to store data from the Health app and a variety of third-party apps. Examples include Garmin Watches, heart rate monitors and my personal beloved, Nike+ Running app.
If the notion of holding important health data in a single dashboard or in one cloud-based storage space isn’t intriguing enough, Apple went further. The most revolutionizing aspect of this venture, if done well, is the looping of the healthcare system into the new platform. As a registered dietitian, during my clinical training, I caught a glimpse of the inefficiencies in electronic healthcare systems. Just imagine the possibilities for patient-care improvement if healthcare providers could access and share information with patients through personal devices.
Dietitians, as health care providers, should be following Apples’ health initiative with curious interest. It could transform the way we counsel our patients or simply just provide a couple new fun apps for the iPhone. Only time will tell.