Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is the latest hospital to adopt the HealthKit platform; it plans to launch an updated version of its BIDMC @ Home service that sings along Apple's platform to enable patient monitoring while they are at home.
"Doctors or care providers have historically had a very limited window into what's happening in the home," Dr. Larry Markson, vice president for clinical information systems at BIDMC, told MobiHealthNews. "And I think what's exciting to us is this provides a window that could be very valuable in certain types of patients that we haven't had up until now."
After more than six months in development, BIDMC @ Home with HealthKit integration will kick off with 25 to 50 patients and half a dozen doctors. The initial focus will be on congestive heart failure and hypertension, with users getting connected weight scales and blood pressure monitors to take readings while out of the hospital. Withings and Qardio will be providing these smart devices for the task, though patients will have to bring their own iPhones or iPads to participate in the trial.
The data collected by the devices will pass through the device manufacturer's app, Apple's Health app, and a special app developed by BIDMC, which will also send it to the patient's electronic health record.
The initial setup of connecting all the devices and apps is said to be cumbersome, but after that – it's easy for the user to record his/her blood pressure and weight, with BIDC's app running in the background to sync the data collected with a web-based service.
If the congestive heart failure cohort goes well, the hospital plans to expand the program to include other chronic conditions to the mix.