Apple HealthKit draws concerns about data security, privacy and medical accuracy

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Apple's HealthKit debut last week 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.

TrueValue cofounder and CEO Jason Wang, for example, noted in a recent Network World article that while data on a user's phone doesn't fall under HIPAA, once that data is transmitted to a hospital, doctor, provider or pharmacy, it may then fall under the privacy rules.

And Henry Feldman, chief information architect at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, noted in a blog post that he's concerned about the lack of common infrastructure between healthcare apps and the ability for software to integrate on both the professional and consumer side. He said Apple's move is the first sign of an actual ecosystem.

"Having centralized support for healthcare data makes applications more interoperable and useful," Feldman wrote. "This will raise all the healthcare apps to a new level, and greatly increase utility and innovation around these apps." 

It also comes with concerns, he said, such as managing vast data piles.

"This is a 1.0 release, and undoubtedly it will grow over time, and we will see creative uses, which will inspire all of us to grow with it," Feldman wrote. 

Apple's partnerships with Epic and the Mayo Clinic also received a lot of attention. 

"Apple is making a big move," said Skip Snow, a healthcare IT senior analyst for Forrester Research. "Still, a lot of us were expecting a bigger move--an integrated hardware/software announcement."

For more information:
- read this Network World article
- read Feldman's blog post
- read the InformationWeek article

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