Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) HealthKit is about to get a real-world test as two U.S. hospitals prepare to open trials using the Cupertino, California, tech firm’s health and fitness software platform, Reuters reported Monday. HealthKit, which will launch with iOS 8 Wednesday, has been touted by Apple as a platform to centralize health and fitness information from various sensors, apps and accessories. This happens all with the user’s explicit consent and provides one place for doctors to view the aggregated data.
Stanford University is reportedly working on trials with Apple’s HealthKit to track blood sugar levels of diabetic children. Duke University is tracking weight, blood pressure and other measurements for heart disease and cancer patients.
In Stanford’s pilot program the hospital will send type 1 diabetes patients home with an iPod touch to record blood sugar levels, Stanford Children's Chief Medical Information Officer Christopher Longhurst told Reuters. Two children have already been enrolled in the program.
The pilot programs aim to streamline the data collection process, which is often done manually by doctors and nurses despite the ongoing switch to electronic health records.
While the platform is said to be attracting a number of U.S. hospitals, various health care vendors are also taking notice. Among them are health records software developer, Epic Systems Corp., a previously announced Apple HealthKit partner, and Dexcom Inc. (NASDAQ:DXCM), which develops glucose monitoring systems and sensors for patients with diabetes. Dexcom is reportedly in talks with the U.S. Food and Drug Admininstration, Apple and Stanford to integrate its hardware and software with HealthKit.
Health and fitness applications have been a huge focus of Apple this year as it prepares to roll out iOS 8 and its Apple Watch, which contain a number of health tracking features and sensors. While iOS 8 will publicly be released this week, Apple Watch isn't expected to see store shelves until sometime in early 2015.