Putting Healthcare In Your Hands- Apple’s plan to put iPads in every hospital

 Photo courtesy of Apple

Photo courtesy of Apple

“Healthcare providers can deliver the best care when they have powerful, intuitive tools. Our technology helps them work effectively within hospitals, connect remotely with patients, and conduct groundbreaking medical research. The result is care that becomes more efficient, more personalized, and ultimately more human.” - Apple

Apple products, such as iPhones and iPads, have been used by certain hospitals for several years now. However, only recently Apple went public about making moves to get a tighter grip on the $3 trillion healthcare market. According to ICT & Health, Apple wants to help patients have digital health information at their fingertips by shifting from USBs and CD-ROMs to mobile. An Apple spokesperson stated, “Leading hospitals and health systems are using Apple products to transform all aspects of health care inside the hospital and beyond” while emphasizing the privacy and security of iOS as a key factor for Apple’s growth in hospitals.

Though some hospitals are making the shift toward mobile, making their facilities cutting-edge, there are still hospitals with reservations. Compared to other sectors, such as finance and retail, hospitals across the United States have been relatively slow to adopt mobile and consumer technologies. The reason why? Doctors and other healthcare professionals are hesitant to change their processes. According to Fast Company, only recently have physicians have fully adapted to the shift away from pagers, clipboards, and fax machines. On the other hand, patients have quickly adapted to the changes and have already been using the technology in their daily lives. Patients are able to research their prescriptions, direct message people in their care team, and quickly get answers about their health.

Apple’s work puts patients at the center of their care.

According to Ben Bajarin, a technology analyst who has been tracking Apple’s move into health care, “Health is a sensitive area, and it’s not consumer-oriented.” He says, “You don’t just have to pass the Federal Communications Commission, you have to go through a lot of regulatory protocols, including the FDA.” But, according to Fast Company, Bajarin feels that Apple’s move to healthcare was a long time coming. Steve Jobs, Apple’s late CEO, realized how “broken and bad” many health care processes were, such as poor user experience, after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Apple will not be making their own apps, instead, they are working with top developers who were already working on apps for health care. Apple has already introduced three software services- CareKit, ResearchKit, and HealthKit. These software services should help developers and consumers pull together disparate health information, such as steps, heart rate, and sleep, into one place. HealthKit is designed to make it easier for developers to gather health data. ResearchKit is designed to help researchers recruit participants for their studies. CareKit is aimed at helping patients with chronic conditions share data with their care team. With these efforts, Apple has now made strides in three foundational areas: hospital care, at-home care, and medical research.

Here at HatchMed, we recognize the many benefits that tablets bring to hospitals. Benefits like increased HCAHPS scores, patient education, improved communication, and many more. We are eager to help bring iPads to the hospital bed rail.