Apple adds drug tracking to iPhone. How will it affect the specialist patient’s journey?
Imagine visiting your doctor’s office. Instead of swiping a participation card and manually filling out a paper form, the receptionist says, “We’re taking Apple Health.” You wave your iPhone over a digital kiosk, and instantly upload your current medical history and insurance information. Your joint amount is then deducted from the health savings account. there he is! And the doctor will see you now.
This scenario is no longer confined to the distant future. by Introducing medication tracking into your existing iPhone Health The app, Apple did for long-term prescription drug users what it did for anyone with a physical wallet. Paved the way for iPhone users Electronic health records A tool capable of interoperable functions.
The result for users will, in the end, be unparalleled convenience. For drug companies, Apple’s new tool is integrating their products more closely with patients’ overall health profiles through the power of mobile apps — something many drug makers have tried but failed to achieve on their own. And for professional drug patients, whose medical journey requires the most time and money, the iPhone drug tracker can be a godsend.
Concept Smartphone drug tracking app Not new. MedisafeMango Health (acquired by TrialCard) and RediHealth are among those that serve the same purpose, offering complex functionality and limited data integration with other apps. This and other existing drug tracking tools have set high standards for the industry. So Apple can’t expect to switch every iPhone user to their own native drug tracker overnight. But these apps can’t instantly access Apple’s point-of-sale payment functionality, integrate seamlessly with Apple Watch’s health tracking features, or read, respond to, and share stored Apple Health data with a service provider. Allowing drug tracking within the Apple Health ecosystem promises unrestricted functionality — not unlike the difference between changing from Venmo to Apple Pay.
For iPhone users with a few active prescriptions, this isn’t a strong selling point. These users may only use a medication tracker while traveling, if they ever use one. Specialty drug patients, whose prescriptions struggle with rare or life-threatening conditions, do not have this luxury. They should take more medication than the general public. Preloading every bit of actionable data about all your prescribed medications – including when to take each one – has the potential to open up a world of convenience.
The iOS tool that underpins the Apple Health framework is HealthKit, which is a database containing the entire health profile of the user. It enables any other app on your iPhone to access the data in your profile. What does that mean for specialty drug patients? Let’s say I need to reduce the frequency or dose of one of my 20 prescription drug regimens. I can manually enter the new frequency or dose into the Apple Health medication tracker. Then, with one click, HealthKit can sync that change to the MyChart app, or whatever app your provider uses to communicate with me. Only a local app can facilitate this speed and ease of one simple transaction.
The power of so-called “white label” engines — background applications that make it easier to share information between separate data systems — isn’t limited to healthcare. This is just one example of a broader global trend towards the use of mobile devices. Endpoint: Patients and medical providers alike will be able to ditch their desktop computers and use a smartphone for all their needs — from logging into the doctor’s office, filling out forms, tracking medications, and everything in between.
Seventy-eight percent of specialty drug patients actually use their mobile phones when visiting drug websites. They treat their devices this way at all times of the day. This subset of the sick population will inevitably benefit from Apple’s medication tracker, pointing the way forward for the power of native apps to turn uncomfortable routine work into instant relief.
About Yishai Knobel
Yishai is the co-founder and CEO of Help about. Prior to HelpAround, Knobel was Head of Mobile at AgaMatrix Diabetes, maker of the world’s first smartphone glucose meter. He also worked at Microsoft’s startup labs in Cambridge and as an officer in the IDF’s research and development unit. Noble holds an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and BAs in Psychology and Computer Science.
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