MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Apple unveiled its latest creations Tuesday morning.
They include ApplePay, a wallet technology and the highly anticipated Apple Watch. The focus of the show was Apple’s new phones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Along with a slimmer design, higher resolution screen and faster internet capabilities, the phones may revolutionize health care.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic helped develop new programs called Health and HealthKit that links users’ phones to their well-being.
The phone’s iOS 8 processor includes a motion sensor that tracks distance, steps and, for the first time, elevation. That information is stored in the Health app.
Once put in your phone, that information will sync into HealthKit, a program designed by Mayo Clinic doctors. The program stores your nutrition, fitness and other vitals into an electronic file for doctors or other family to access.
It syncs with Health and other existing fitness apps like MyFitness Pal and Nike+.
Dr. John Wald helped create the program. It’s an extension of the medical technology Mayo Clinic already uses when treating patients.
“The grand vision would be once the information is contained within HealthKit, patients can take that on their iDevices or eventually Android and transfer that to wherever they are in the world or country,” Wald said. “That information will be put into HealthKit, then we’ll be able to pull that information into your electronic medical record.”
Recent data breaches add to the concern of putting sensitive information on a cell phone.
But Wald says security was a top priority when creating the program.
HealthKit comes with extra screens educating users about privacy rights and how to best protect their information.
“There are extra screens for users to view their HIPPA authorizations, view their privacy and to educate them a little bit about how to secure their device. Once the information leaves our establishment, it’s their responsibility. Just like an x-ray file would or a lab, paper lab result would be,” he said.
Ultimately, doctors say having easily accessible medical records and health information will lead people into making heather choices.
The new iPhones will be available in stores on Sept. 19. The HealthKit program is only available on iOS systems.
Developers are working to develop an Android version.