Providers embrace Apple's push into healthcare

Apple is making a bigger push into the healthcare industry as providers look to improve access to patient health information.

More healthcare providers are turning to Apple products to help patients access medical records and improve engagement, a shift that is likely to grow given the company’s expanding interest in the healthcare industry. 

Health systems like Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles, Parkview Medical in Colorado and Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans are integrating iPads and Apple Watches into their system, according to Fast Company. The devices give patients new insight into their care by allowing them to easily access and transport their medical records and provide doctors with streamlined alerts.

iPads have been used by hospitals in a variety of ways over the last decade, but Apple is increasingly devoting more resources toward healthcare-centric apps.

RELATED: Aetna turns to Apple Watch to bolster wellness programs

At Cedars-Sinai, patients can text with their doctor or nurse from a hospital-issued iPad and transfer information to the Apple Health app on their smartphone if they see a physician in another health system. Ochsner’s chief transformation officer, Richard Milani, told Fast Company the system is exploring a way to alert physicians when a test result comes by integrating Epic’s EHR with an Apple Watch, an approach Johns Hopkins Medical Center is using to help physicians monitor epileptic patients.

RELATED: Ochsner expands iOS healthcare strategy with 'Optimal Hospital' initiative

Apple has publicly acknowledged its interest in the lucrative healthcare market that some have shied away from given the regulatory challenges. Apple’s decision to release CareKit, ResearchKit and HealthKit, all of which focus on health data integration, supports its ongoing interest in healthcare.

RELATED: 3 ways Trump's FDA nominee could reshape digital health

Although other consumer technology companies are likely to make similar moves into the industry, health IT consultants say Apple’s iOS security is prized among providers. New App Store guidelines released by Apple in September include more stringent language to weed out potentially dangerous health apps.