Apple wants to turn your iPhone into a one-stop shop for all your medical info

Tired of having to fill out the same-but-different medical/insurance forms every time you visit a new doctor? According to CNBC, Apple feels your pain (pun intended) and is working to turn your iPhone into a “one-stop shop” for all your medical info. 

The article says the tech giant wants its smartphone to become the central bank for health information and is looking to host clinical information, such as labs and allergy lists, and not just wellness data. To that end, Apple is reportedly talking to hospitals, researching potential acquisitions and attending health IT industry meetings.

Apple is looking at startups in the cloud hosting space about potential acquisitions that might fit into this plan, says CNBC, quoting an unnamed “half-dozen people familiar” with the company’s secret team working on the scenario. Essentially, Apple would be trying to recreate what it did with music -- replacing CDs and scattered MP3s with a centralized management system in iTunes and the iPod -- in the fragmented, complicated landscape for health data.

If true — and I suspect it is — Apple’s plans are logical extensions of its ResearchKit, HealthKit and CareKit tools. ResearchKit turns an iPhone into a tool for medical research by helping doctors, scientists and other researchers gather data more frequently and more accurately from participants anywhere in the world using iPhone apps.

HealthKit is the accompanying developer application programming interface (API) included in the iOS SDK (Software Development Kit) for the Mac. It is used by software developers to design applications that have extensibility and that can interact with the Health application on iOS.

CareKit is a tool for assisting people in taking an active role in their care. iPhone apps using the kit make it easier for individuals to keep track of care plans and monitor symptoms and medication; providing insights that help people better understand their own health. With the ability to share information with doctors, nurses or family members, CareKit apps help people take a more active role in their health.