Mayo Teaming with Apple on Breakthrough Technology

Created: 06/03/2014 6:33 PM
By: Hannah Tran

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Apple and Mayo Clinic are teaming up for what's considered a groundbreaking collaboration between a phone app and health care. 

At Apple's 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, leaders announced an upcoming app called "HealthKit" and it will work in sync with Mayo Clinic's current patient phone app. This will create the platform for future doctor and patient relationships.

There's thousands of apps and devices out there that record your blood pressure, weight, or progress with exercise. Rochester resident Mary Davitt has used a couple of devices in the past while she worked out. 

"Previously I've used ‘Polar Fit Watch’, it tracks your calories," described Davitt. 

"But up until now, the information gathered by those applications lived in a silo, you can't get a single comprehensive picture," said Apple Executive Craig Federighi.

HealthKit will bring information from tracking devices into one spot. Data ranging from blood pressure to weight that's gathered from a variety of devices or apps will easily be found in HealthKit. 

"What makes HealthKit unique is that it does bring multiple points of data from a patient's own wellness tracking devices, or other medical tracking devices into one repository," said Dr. John Wald, Mayo Clinic's Medical Director for Marketing and Public Affairs.

Information from HealthKit will be shared with Mayo Clinic's current patient phone app. This will allow the data to be at the fingertips of not only the patient, but the healthcare provider. 

"I think we're right at the forefront of how we interact with patients digitally,” said Dr. Wald. 

This will better allow patients to interact with providers outside of the office. It will be easier for patients to get professional information and guidance from Mayo Clinic health care experts on all the tracking information. 

"That information can be embedded into HealthKit, then through the Mayo Clinic app it can be accessible through providers as they need to assess that information to deliver remote care to patients," said Dr. Wald. "We hope our own connected care platforms will allow us to deliver affordable, high quality care solutions to anyone around the world." 

In the past, experts say thousands of mobile health apps were isolated from one another. Now, a holistic, comprehensive image of someone's overall health is much more accessible for both ends of the relationship between physician and patient. 

The update of Mayo Clinic's current patient app to integrate HealthKit will happen this coming fall. 

Photo: ABC 6 News