New Orleans healthcare provider first to link EHR with Apple HealthKit

A Louisiana healthcare provider is the first Epic Systems client to integrate its electronic health record system with the Apple HealthKit platform.

The Ochsner Health System, based in New Orleans, is now sharing patient data in real-time, Robert Bober, director of cardiac molecular imaging at Ochsner Medical Center, said in an announcement. The system provides an ideal situation for treating chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart failure, he said.

"In the past, we relied on patients to log information, bring it to us, and then we would input the data and decide a course of action," Bober said.

But, now it's a more proactive strategy driven by patients choosing what information will be shared automatically, Richard Milani, chief clinical transformation office at Ochsner, said in the announcement.

Epic Systems has been an early Apple HealthKit supporter, with several major health systems using EHR vendor Epic's software aim to integrate health and fitness data from HealthKit into Epic's MyChart personal health record. 

Other medical centers are initiating HealthKit-based pilots including Stanford University Hospital and Duke University. 

But not everyone is as enthused about HealthKit and its game-changing potential for mHealth. HealthKit has ignited a flurry of feedback and concerns from healthcare experts and industry watchers regarding privacy, the sharing of confidential data and use of medical terms. 

Ochsner, according to the announcement, was one of three health systems tapped to beta-test the iOS8-integrated application.

For more information:
- read the announcement

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