IBM today announced its Health Cloud and Watson cognitive computing capabilities will support health data entered by customers in iOS apps using Apple’s ResearchKit and HealthKit frameworks. The move, which complements IBM’s new Watson Health business unit, will arm medical researchers with a secure, open data storage solution, as well as access to IBM’s most sophisticated data analytics capabilities.
Mobile devices capture vast amounts of valuable health data from today’s consumers. HealthKit and ResearchKit harness that data so it can be used to improve health and accelerate medical research.
Apple’s HealthKit enables developers to create consumer health apps designed to give users a more comprehensive way to manage their health and fitness, and ResearchKit is an open source software framework that gives medical researchers the tools to accelerate medical studies. HealthKit can be used to create apps that monitor health behaviors and help encourage users to adhere to their treatment plan. Participants who opt-in to apps using ResearchKit can also contribute their health information to medical research/science/medicine.
IBM will de-identify and store health data in a secure, scalable cloud system that enables researchers to access and share data in an open ecosystem environment, as well as have access to IBM’s data-mining and predictive analytics capabilities. Health and fitness app developers and medical researchers will be able to draw on data at a scale that until now has never been available. For apps using HealthKit and ResearchKit, IBM will provide a delivery platform through Health Cloud to easily store, aggregate and model data, combining it with other data sources and types to enrich research findings and identify the next frontiers of medical discovery.
“Our deep understanding and history in the healthcare industry will help ensure that doctors and researchers can maximize the insights available through Apple’s HealthKit and ResearchKit data,” said John E. Kelly III, senior vice president, IBM research and solutions portfolio, in a statement. “IBM’s secure data storage and analytics solutions will enable doctors and researchers to draw on real-time insights from consumer health and behavioral data at a scale never before possible.”
“With Apple’s groundbreaking ResearchKit, researchers can easily create apps that take advantage of the power of mobile devices to give them rich data from a diverse global population,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations, in a statement. “Now IBM’s secure cloud and analytics capabilities provide additional tools to help accelerate discoveries across a wide variety of health issues.”
IBM will also build a suite of enterprise wellness apps using HealthKit. These IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps will be designed for enterprises to work with their employees to better manage their health needs across acute diseases to general fitness.
For more information regarding the new Apple and IBM solutions, please visit: www.ibm.com/mobilefirst/us/en/mobilefirst-for-ios.html and www.apple.com/business/mobile-enterprise-apps/.