A Mayo Clinic mobile device application, or app, under development would enable users to easily access personalized health information, guidance, and care. The Mayo app would be integrated with Apple’s new HealthKit, a digital repository for various types of health- and fitness-related data.
“The app [in development] would serve as an intermediary between remote monitoring devices; Apple’s HealthKit, which collects data from remote monitoring devices; and the [current] Mayo Clinic app, which allows patients to have data such as laboratory results, radiology studies, and the electronic medical record on a mobile device,” said John Wald, MD, medical director for public affairs and marketing at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Patients would be able to seamlessly move data from the app to wherever they receive care.
While this intermediary feature is not yet available, at present Mayo Clinic’s Version 2.0 app can be used to store health and wellness information regarding exercise, diet, calories, glucose level, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation from devices patients use at home.
Ultimately, Dr. Wald said, the goal is to enable users to be able to monitor various HealthKit parameters through an easy-to-interpret dashboard, which highlights trends and flags values that may need attention. Health care providers would be able to offer information and guidance relevant to these parameters. Providers could also receive and transmit data from checkups.
“If we can interact with remote data earlier in a patient’s course of disease and treat them effectively by interacting with remote monitoring tools through electronic solutions, we believe it would decrease the number of times a patient would need to visit a provider and potentially decrease the number of emergency room visits and costs of health care,” Dr. Wald said.
“This app represents one piece of Mayo Clinic’s connect-to-care strategy,” Dr. Wald continued. “We are starting to reach out to patients with remote video monitoring to decrease the number of times they have to return to the hospital. I think we will see an evolution in remote monitoring for diabetic care, cardiac care, and maybe asthma care down the road as we find the right parameters to monitor.”
Dr. Wald said the partnership is a win-win. “Apple allows us greater insight into ways to reach customers that resonates with them and has platforms that extend around the world. Consequently, we can extend our health vision around the world,” he said. “Apple sees us an internationally known and trusted health care partner.”
Karen Appold is a medical writer in Pennsylvania.