Apple has announced that it will soon add HealthKit support for the HL7 Continuity of Care Document to iOS 10. This news came out of the WWDC event. This is huge from an industry perspective. The CCD support in iOS 10 will make it a standard bearer for healthcare providers, healthcare IT vendors and personal health record systems.
Founded in 1987, Health Level Seven International (HL7) is a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited standards developing organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services
The Continuity of Care Document (CCD) is a joint effort of HL7 International and ASTM. CCD fosters interoperability of clinical data by allowing physicians to send electronic medical information to other providers without loss of meaning and enabling improvement of patient care.
Between Apple and Google, Apple has seen more adoption for HealthKit than Google has for Google Fit, its comparable offering.
Dr.Bloomfield, Duke university’s Director of Mobile Strategy suggested this week that the reason behind Apple’s leadership in this field is because
“Apple standardized a set of data elements so everyone could use those in a consistent way. And it’s interesting that we talk about open standards but there can be closed standards too. This is technically a closed standard, but because of the fact that it was made available for anyone to use free of charge, it became a way you could transfer high-quality information, which made it usable,” Bloomfield said. “Whereas on the Google side, they didn’t have the same level of granularity for their data elements and actually kept it much more open in terms of being able to define your own data elements. But of course any time you can define your own data elements and you leave it much more open, that optionality, as we call it, makes it much harder to standardize and to share data.”
Dr. Bloomfield said that the missing piece for HealthKit is still data analysis. There’s still no engine powerful enough to really enable this technology to scale to an entire patient population, he said.
Duke’s medical research team has been at the forefront of using both Apple’s Researchkit and Healthkit for quite sometime now.