MAYO CLINIC PARTNERS WITH TECH TITANS TO REVOLUTIONIZE HEALTH CARE

Mayo Clinic has teamed up with tech companies to provide more health care apps.The Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit group medical practice comprised of 3,800 physicians as well as 50,900 allied health care staff, has teamed up with tech giants IBM and Apple to bring innovative technology to the health care industry.Mayo Clinic is considered one of the leading health care providers in the nation and is collaborating with tech companies to create a stronger link between health care professionals and patients. This could revolutionize everything from the way a medical administrative assistant schedules appointments and follow-ups to predicting patterns in patient responses to specific drugs.

Mayo Clinic has teamed up with IBM to use its supercomputer Watson to pair cancer patients with clinical trials. The medical group has partnered with Apple to help design the Cupertino company’s Health app for the much anticipated iPhone 6. Such advancements will assuredly lead to additional innovations among a competitive tech industry. Google and Microsoft have already released health-related applications and are expected to release wearable devices with health features in the near future. What is clear is that tech companies are looking to make a big impact on the health care industry, and the Mayo Clinic aims to create better patient care.

Mayo Clinic and Apple

The Mayo Clinic and Apple have been working together for two years to develop applications for its smartphones and new smartwatch.While recent controversy over security measures came to light when hackers revealed nude photos of dozens of female celebrities, Apple has released an official statement stating that iCloud accounts were not responsible for the breach. The new health applications will put Apple in charge of vast amounts of sensitive data, and the company will have to be able to ensure the information is secure against outside threats.

However, health programs, specifically applications for wearable smartwatches and smartphones, have caught on as of late. These apps allow users to more closely monitor their health throughout the course of their daily lives. If applications can inform users of personal health trends and potential risks, it can possibly improve the user’s health and make physician-patient communication more efficient.

This development comes during a major turning point in the health care industry as more practices shift to electronic health records and more patients opt for individual medical insurance coverage rather than a program provided by their employers. Hypothetically, this wealth of personal data could also lead to corporate wellness incentives as well.5

Apple HealthKit

The new Apple Health app, along with fitness apps, provides a dashboard with a wide range of personal health information. The HealthKit is a tool for developers to help them create applications that can work together to provide a more holistic health profile.The Health app will allow users to monitor functions such as blood sugar, cholesterol, daily calories burned, amount of sleep time, heart rate and more, making this information easily accessible over Apple’s iPhone 6 which will run on the new iOS 8.Moreover, the application provides users with a digital emergency card in case users suffer from a medical emergency. This toolbox of applications will have the ability to be shared with physicians, providing an open line of communication to make health care more efficient and consistent.

Mayo Clinic and IBM

Apple and IBM were once notorious enemies in the tech industry, but recently the two companies have collaborated to bring IBM apps to Apple devices. The Mayo Clinic has also teamed up with IBM with a plan to use Watson to enroll patients with breast, lung and colorectal cancer into clinical trials for which they are eligible.According to the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation, there are 170,000 ongoing trials, only 6 percent of which are completed on time.The supercomputer simply has the ability to read through thousands of clinical trials in a matter of seconds, whereas a doctor would need to spend a significant amount of time looking over one trial alone.10 

Watson is becoming increasingly used for health care services. The computer is perhaps most famous for beating Ken Jennings on Jeopardy and is a cognitive computer system. Since Watson appeared on the television game show, IBM has reduced the size drastically, making it easy for the supercomputer to fit in any medical practice or hospital. According to Forbes, medical institutions already using Watson include MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Baylor College of Medicine.11 

The release of the iPhone 6 will likely serve as a catalyst for developers to create a variety of new health care applications and also be an opportunity for medical professionals to find digital means of closer communication with patients. The Mayo Clinic has been an integral contributor as these tech firms move forward, and will continue to be an important member of the health care industry.

1Mayo Clinic LinkedIn profile. https://www.linkedin.com/company/mayo-clinic

2″Mayo Clinic Turns To IBM’S Watson To Match Cancer Patients With Clinical Trials” by Zina Moukheiber. Forbes. September 8, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/zinamoukheiber/2014/09/08/mayo-clinic-turns-to-ibms-watson-to-match-cancer-patients-with-clinical-trials/

3″At Apple’s product unveiling, Mayo takes a big role” by Evan Ramstad. Star Tribune. September 9, 2014. http://www.startribune.com/business/274421651.html?page=1&c=y

4″At Apple’s product unveiling, Mayo takes a big role” by Evan Ramstad. Star Tribune. September 9, 2014. http://www.startribune.com/business/274421651.html?page=1&c=y

5″At Apple’s product unveiling, Mayo takes a big role” by Evan Ramstad. Star Tribune. September 9, 2014. http://www.startribune.com/business/274421651.html?page=1&c=y

6″iOS 8 Health.” Apple. https://www.apple.com/ios/ios8/health/

7″iOS 8 Health.” Apple. https://www.apple.com/ios/ios8/health/

8″Mayo Clinic Turns To IBM’S Watson To Match Cancer Patients With Clinical Trials” by Zina Moukheiber. Forbes. September 8, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/zinamoukheiber/2014/09/08/mayo-clinic-turns-to-ibms-watson-to-match-cancer-patients-with-clinical-trials/

9The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation. https://www.ciscrp.org/programs-events/research-and-studies/

10″Mayo Clinic Turns To IBM’S Watson To Match Cancer Patients With Clinical Trials” by Zina Moukheiber. Forbes. September 8, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/zinamoukheiber/2014/09/08/mayo-clinic-turns-to-ibms-watson-to-match-cancer-patients-with-clinical-trials/

11″Mayo Clinic Turns To IBM’S Watson To Match Cancer Patients With Clinical Trials” by Zina Moukheiber. Forbes. September 8, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/zinamoukheiber/2014/09/08/mayo-clinic-turns-to-ibms-watson-to-match-cancer-patients-with-clinical-trials/

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