Apple-IBM partnership bodes well for mHealth innovation

A while back I wrote how exciting it was that some big tech names were jumping into mHealth and why their interest will not only drive big innovation and foster needed standards, but spur provider and patient adoptions as well as help solve hurdles such as security concerns.

But this past week brought news that may be even more exciting than Google Fit, Apple HealthKit and Samsung's SAMI platform; news that could transcend the value that Google and its data knowledge brings to the table.

Apple and IBM are forging a global strategic partnership to transform business using mobile technology. A big chunk of that strategy is aimed at the healthcare sector, specifically the mobile healthcare segment.

An announcement on the collaborative effort reveals it's a marriage of IBM's big data and analytic capabilities and the iPhone and iPad--devices that already are heartedly embraced in the healthcare industry. The two tech titans promise to develop and create apps for healthcare, as well as telecommunications, insurance, banking, travel and even transportation.

It's all about helping companies (payers and providers) achieve new levels of efficiency, effectiveness and customer (patient) satisfaction, the companies say. They initially plan on developing a new class of 100 industry-specific solutions, built from the ground up.

While that software development commitment is exciting on its own, it's not just mHealth apps that will come to fruition.

It's what IBM and Apple already have and have proven when it comes to technology: they know about security and about dealing with regulations, and they both obviously know how to create viable and valuable products--products consumers and enterprises need and want.

The release makes note that the partnership also will develop unique IBM cloud services for device management security analytics and mobile integration in addition to AppleCare service and support programs.

These are all needed and necessary components in mHealth technology.

As I've written before, the winners in mHealth will be those who not only have the app, but who have the device and interoperability that eliminates hurdles in bringing apps and devices into play. The fact IBM will be selling iPhones and iPads with industry-specific solutions is extremely exciting. - Judy (@JudyMottl and @FierceHealthIT)

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