Apple wants to centralize data from health trackers. But do doctors care?

Observers note concern with privacy, quality of data

Most physicians are hesitant to use data from patients' wearable health data trackers, according to experts in the digital health, health care, and medical device industries, VentureBeat reports.

Health tracking devices—such as Google Fit and Apple's Health Kit—aim to collect and improve sharing of consumers' health data.

Apple in talks with top hospitals to become 'hub of health data'

However, observers say that physicians have concerns about using such data, including:

  • Financing unproven clinical systems designed to receive and track the data;
  • Keeping the data private; and
  • Ensuring the quality of the data.

Jim Bloedua, an expert in medical technology, says that physicians "care about the reliability of the sampling and the quality of data," but that there is "little proof that consumer devices and self-measurements meet a clinically acceptable threshold."

Love your Fitbit? Be warned: Companies sell your data

Meanwhile, Doximity CEO Jeff Tangney says that physicians "would love to be excited about wearables" but that they could "save more lives" with reliable current technology, such as email or fax machines (Sullivan, VentureBeat, 8/15).

Apple and IBM: Big blue apples?

Meg Aranow, Senior Research Director

The two tech giants recently announced a partnership. Get our take on the news, and find out what it could mean for health care.


Does your boss know how much you exercise

Would you share your Fitbit data with your employer?

Next in the Daily Briefing

New technology: How 'innovation must be tempered by caution'

Read now