iPod Touch to be used for diabetes monitoring following launch of HealthKit

Hospitals affiliated with Stanford and Duke University are initiating partnerships with Apple ($AAPL) and its yet to be unveiled HealthKit, designed to collect data from healthcare apps and present it to doctors in a centralized location.

Rather than rely on phone and fax, the two hospitals hope to collect diabetics' blood sugar information via an iPod Touch, Reuters reports.

"This could eliminate the hassle of getting data from patients, who want to give it to us," Duke pediatrician Ricky Bloomfield told Reuters. "HealthKit removes some of the error from patients' manually entering their data."

Other hospitals are interested in the program, as well. To counter privacy concerns, Apple may create a "HealthKit certification" that includes rules about data security and bans the sale of the information to advertisers, Reuters says.

Meanwhile diabetes monitoring device company DexCom is also interested in using HealthKit, according the the article. Its continuous glucose monitoring technology sends data to a receiver every 5 minutes. The information is then relayed to the company's mobile app.

The Apple Watch is also being closely monitored by the industry for its possible healthcare applications. It can track heart rate and a variety of workout metrics, like distance covered, according to a recent product preview. 

"If they get some scale, from a digital health perspective, it's exciting to think about tens of millions wearing continuous monitoring devices. Ultimately, we want to see the Health app populated with lots of user-generated data and to see users provisioning access to that data through HealthKit to the broader ecosystem of software,"  Malay Gandhi of digital health accelerator Rock Health said in article in VentureBeat.  

But not everyone is so excited. "Companies like Apple are bringing gadgets to the masses, but they are not driving fundamental change or reducing costs to the system," Welltok CEO Jeff Margolis told VentureBeat.

- read the Reuters article
- here's the VentureBeat article

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