Apple, at it again

Backed by the “who’s who” of US hospitals, Apple recently launched the Apple Health Records feature, which will aggregate existing patient-generated data in a user’s health app with data from their EHR. For a screen shot of the app/feature go here. With names like Stanford, Duke, and Vanderbilt already signed on, you might think we’re talking about your busted NCAA bracket. We’re not. The Apple “feature” has been in beta for a bit and Dr. Paul Testa of NYU has used it to enable 35 ER doctors, through Apple Watch’s push notifications, to request vital lab results be delivered so they see the results and respond quickly to patient needs. Pretty Star Trek-ish. While Apple has plans to go where no one has gone before, this just might be their one shining moment. RIP the NCAA tournament.

Apple and Amazon are all over healthcare

CNBC noticed Amazon quietly launched a partnership in August with OTC manufacturer Perrigo to create their Basic Care line of products. While Amazon may not be the ideal fix for when you need that bottle of cold medicine ASAP, the company could be in a good position to corner the market on products that are bought in bulk like nicotine gum. Apple’s healthcare foray is more tech-focused: they’re developing the next attempt at personal, electronic health records. The idea is to use patients’ smartphones as the unified repository for health records that could otherwise be scattered across healthcare providers. More complete records and data could drive recommendations for care, and could even translate into partnerships with pharma companies to pitch their products directly to consumers fitting a certain profile.