Apple’s iOS primed to become the dominant mobile OS in enterprise healthcare

“IBM and Apple are touting their mobile enterprise partnership as a game changer for all industries, but in healthcare particularly they can take advantage of providers’ love for their iPhones and iPads, as well as the two companies’ separate but complementary work with Epic Systems,” David F. Carr reports for InformationWeek. “Last week, IBM and Apple said they would begin selling a bundle of Apple devices and IBM services and middleware software. ‘The deal on its own merits is a game changer, but in healthcare we can use the mobile environment to reach the consumer, the patient, the member — and back into the enterprise,’ said Dan Pelino, general manager of IBM’s business with the public sector, including health systems. IBM will build on a “significant amount of work under way already with Apple with the iPhone and iPad” for healthcare applications, but magnified by the newly announced IBM MobileFirst for iOS platform, he said.”

“According to the Blackbook survey, 68% of healthcare providers use an iPhone for professional purposes, and with IBM’s help iOS can also become the dominant mobile operating system for enterprise applications in healthcare, Pelino said. “This really is a case of ‘together, better’ — Apple was not in this space, just like IBM hasn’t been in mobile devices.” IBM has the largest computer security practice in the world, allowing it to offer healthcare organizations the assurance that their iOS applications will be secure and in compliance with HIPAA privacy protections, he said,” Carr reports. “”

“Although Epic wasn’t a party to the deal, Pelino said healthcare applications would benefit from IBM’s extensive work with Epic as a systems integrator, combined with the partnership with Epic Systems Apple announced along with its HealthKit mobile health service and iOS 8 Health app. IBM is ‘under the covers’ in about 80% of Epic installations, Pelino said,” Carr reports. “Epic is the market leader in electronic health records systems for large enterprises and has almost as much of an iconoclastic reputation for doing things its own way as Apple does, so the combination of the two got a lot of attention. As they work on linking the Epic MyChart patient portal and the Apple Healthkit mobile environment, ‘we’ll help them with that,’ Pelino said.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. As one afflicted with EPIC at my Hospital, I assure you they need all the help they can get. A good start would be uniform Human Interface Guidelines.

    EPIC is a hodgepodge of buttons, tabs, drop down menus and right click menus- many of which perform the exact same task or access the same information. It seriously looks like the love child of some LINUX geek.

    And they charge some serious coin for this stuff, people.

    1. Enterprise software can be very expensive to purchase, and even more expensive to maintain, with annual license fees running 12% to 17% of the original purchase price. Apple has been great at breaking down those price barriers (e.g., Final Cut).

      Perhaps Apple will be the agent for advancing comprehensive database standards for health information systems. if Apple gets enough traction in the market, then the rest will adapt or fail.

  2. Gee, if there were universal best practices for healthcare data, there would be less cost associated with healthcare in general. The IBM/Apple initiative dent move this fundamental issue off center.

  3. Straight out of Dilbert. From your metrics, I see we have almost worked you to death. Since we need to make some headcount reductions, here’s some more work for you. Eeerrrrkkk.

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