Three of the biggest names in technology are angling to become three big names in health care: Apple, Samsung and Google. Bring on the disruption!
Apple made a pretty big splash when announcing its new operating system earlier this month. As part of that presentation, the company that revolutionized how we buy and listen to music and compute on the go unveiled HealthKit, which is aimed at collecting patient-generated data and sharing it with providers. Software vendor Epic and several hospitals have already signed on as partners.
To a degree, Apple is playing catch-up with its rival Samsung. The South Korean tech manufacturer, with 31 percent market share in the smartphone arena, has an array of mHealth solutions. There are wearable tracking devices such as Gear Fit and Gear 2. And S Health, which “turns your device into a personal, health-management powerhouse. You can track health statistics like blood pressure, blood glucose level and weight. You can view and track environmental conditions, and even track your exercise regimen.” Of course, much of this links back to their Galaxy phones.
And let’s not forget Google, reportedly poised to announce Google Fit, which sounds very similar to what Samsung and Apple are doing. Most of us still remember the splash Google made several years ago with Google Health, which was supposed to transform the PHR world. The service never caught on, though, and Google pulled the plug in 2013.
Despite the failure of Google Health and limited success of Microsoft’s HealthVault (another PHR-like endeavor), I’m willing to wager that these latest forays into health care will be met with more enthusiasm. As we’ve been reporting all year in our Connecting the Continuum series, mHealth is becoming a sizable part of the health care industry, but providers and even traditional health care IT vendors have been relatively slow to adapt.
In reporting a story for the July issue of H&HN, I’ve found that providers and vendors that embrace the change will be much better positioned to thrive in a world in which consumers expect health care to behave like every other part of the economy.
How is your institution addressing mHealth? Comment: Twitter