IBM Partners With Apple For New Health Initiative
IBM states Watson Health Cloud will “provide a secure and open platform for physicians, researchers, insurers and companies focused on health and wellness solutions”.
The platform will draw data from the ever-growing pool of connected devices with health monitoring capabilities, providing insights to assist in making decisions about health-related issues.
IBM has established a dedicated business unit, IBM Watson Health, to oversee the initiative, and has partnered with companies including Apple, Johnson & Johnson and medical technology company Medtronic.
IBM’s partnership with Apple will see its cognitive computing capabilities supporting health data entered by users in iOS apps using Apple’s ResearchKit and HealthKit frameworks.
HealthKit works with third-party apps, consolidating user health data in one place, while ResearchKit, recently introduced by Apple, is an open-source software framework designed for researchers and developers to create apps aiding in medical studies.
For apps using HealthKit and ResearchKit, IBM stated it will provide a delivery platform to store, aggregate and model data, “combining it with other data sources and types to enrich research findings and identify the next frontiers of medical discovery”.
“Our deep understanding and history in the health-care industry will help ensure that doctors and researchers can maximise the insights available through Apple’s HealthKit and ResearchKit data,” commented John E. Kelly III, IBM research and solutions portfoliosenior vice president.
“IBM’s secure data storage and analytics solutions will enable doctors and researchers to draw on real-time insights from consumer health and behavioural data at a scale never before possible.”
IBM stated it will also build a suite of enterprise wellness apps using HealthKit, designed for enterprises to work with their employees to better manage their health needs across acute diseases to general fitness.