Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Apple and IBM partnership to spur connected health innovation

Iain Morris
July 23, 2014
The recently announced tie-up between Apple and IBM could be a game changer in the health sector, according to a report from InformationWeek.

The two companies recently announced a partnership aimed at spurring the development of business-specific mobile applications on Apple (Cupertino, CA, USA) devices, but the alliance could have a far-reaching impact in the healthcare market, according to Dan Pelino, IBM’s (Armonk, NY, USA) general manager of public sector business.

“In healthcare we can use the mobile environment to reach the consumer, the patient, the member – and back into the enterprise,” said Pelino, as quoted by InformationWeek.

Pelino is reported to have said that Apple and IBM will collaborate on the development of new mobile healthcare apps, noting that nearly 70% of healthcare providers use an iPhone for professional purposes, according to recent data, and that IBM could help the iOS operating system to become the dominant force for enterprise applications in healthcare.

According to the report, Pelino believes that healthcare patients could, in future, use devices developed by Apple to monitor their health, with IBM addressing the issues of patient privacy and data security through its relationship with healthcare software vendor Epic Systems (Verona, WI, USA).

Epic has not been involved in the tie-up between Apple and IBM, but has worked separately with each organization, including on Apple’s recently unveiled HealthKit mobile health service and the iOS 8 Health app.

Described as a market leader in electronic health records systems for large enterprises, Epic is currently said to be at working on linking its MyChart-branded patient portal with HealthKit, and Pelino says IBM will “help them with that”, according to InformationWeek.

Pelino also notes that IBM and Epic are currently teaming up on a bid for a Department of Defense contract to improve electronic medical records systems used in military hospitals and healthcare facilities.

The companies are already planning to make iOS support a feature of their bid, reports InformationWeek.
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