Apple Hires Obstetrician for Health Team to Bolster Women’s Health Efforts

Apple recently added obstetrician Dr. Christine Curry to its health team, reports CNBC. With this hiring, Apple is said to be looking in to how to bolster its efforts in women's health.

Curry comes to Apple from a stint at Kaiser Permanente in Redwood City, California, which is located not too far from Apple's Cupertino campuses.


Apple employs dozens of doctors at its "AC Wellness clinics" designed for Apple employees. Sources that spoke to CNBC said that while Curry has an interest in women's health, she will be working on "various health issues across the health teams."

When Apple first launched its Health app and HealthKit service, there was no section for reproductive health, but it was later added. There is now a full Reproductive Health section available within the Health app that integrates with period and fertility trackers.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said that he believes Apple's ultimate contribution to mankind will be its improvements to the health field.

Tag: health

This article, "Apple Hires Obstetrician for Health Team to Bolster Women's Health Efforts" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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NHS Unveils Mobile App to Let Patients Book GP Visits Online

The British government has announced plans to launch a new NHS mobile app that will let patients in England make appointments with their doctor.

The app will also allow users to order repeat prescriptions, manage their long-term healthcare, see their medical records, and quickly access 111 for urgent queries.


In addition, users will have access to patient preferences related to data sharing, organ donation, and end-of-life care.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt described the app as a "birthday present from the NHS to the British people", 70 years after the service was founded.
The NHS app is a world-first which will put patients firmly in the driving seat and revolutionize the way we access health services.

I want this innovation to mark the death-knell of the 8am scramble for GP appointments that infuriates so many patients.

Technology has transformed everyday life when it comes to banking, travel and shopping. Health matters much more to all of us, and the prize of that same digital revolution in healthcare isn't just convenience but lives improved, extended and saved.

As the NHS turns 70 and we draw up a long-term plan for the NHS on the back of our £394 million a week funding boost, it's time to catch up and unleash the power of technology to transform everyday life for patients.
"The new app will put the NHS into the pocket of everyone in England but it is just one step on the journey," said Matthew Swindells, NHS England National Director of Operations and Information. "We are also developing an NHS Apps Library and putting free NHS Wi-Fi in GP surgeries and hospitals."


Developed by NHS Digital and NHS England, the app will enter its testing phase in September and then roll out officially in December. It will be available on iOS devices through the App Store, as well as on Android phones via Google Play.


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Health Startup ‘Notable’ Announces Apple Watch App to Automatically Record Doctor Visits

A new health-focused startup called Notable today announced its first app for Apple Watch, which aims to automatically record and digitize visits to the doctor as well as "eliminate the vast majority of clinical administrative work." Using deep learning algorithms, AI, and natural language processing to identify voices, Notable records interactions between doctors and patients so that specific information can be revisited by physicians, healthcare providers, and patients.

The company says that its technology not only helps busy doctors cut down on paperwork and other administrative tasks, but also lowers the stress of visits for patients. Notable's Apple Watch app captures a visit's duration, location, and more, then compiles the data from the doctor's Apple Watch to add labs, prescriptions, referrals, and more to the patient's medical records. The doctor then looks over all of this information for accuracy before submitting it to the patient's electronic health records.



To accomplish these tasks, the app uses voice wake features that make it possible for doctors to complete an encounter "with just one tap." The app automatically structures conversations, dictations, orders, and recommends the appropriate billing codes. Since Notable's beta launch, the company says it has earned an approval rating of more than 98.5 percent by doctors using the service.
"Notable frees me to spend more quality time with my patients at work, and more quality time with my family when I get home. I now complete almost 100% of my notes immediately after the patient visit is completed. I've worked with typing entry, iPhone transcription services and a scribe. None of them compare to Notable and I can't imagine going back.” — Dr. Dolan, Orthopedist

"The thing that I like the most about this product is that it combines two very unusual characteristics: it is simultaneously the most faithful and least intrusive means of recording what happened. A wrist watch doesn’t take up the same kind of space as a computer, a tablet, or a even a dictaphone, and … it encourages face to face contact during speech." — Dr. Gollogly, Orthopedist
On its website, Notable says that the app is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, ensuring that the medical data of every patient is secure and private. "Security & HIPAA compliance are essential to everything we do, and we are proud to exceed the industry standard in protecting your organization."

Company CEO Pranay Kapadia got the idea for Notable after his family complained about the many frustrating administrative tasks they had to complete as doctors. Kapadia explained: "We started Notable to leverage powerful technologies such as AI, wearables and voice interface to address these challenges and to give physicians what they really want — a seamless, truly hands-free solution, not another screen to learn or computer application."

Apple Watch has become a major factor in many health-related startups and studies, with a few this year suggesting Apple's wearable device can detect early signs of diabetes, high potassium, and abnormal heart rhythms with 97 percent accuracy. Apple itself runs the Apple Heart Study in partnership with Stanford University, allowing users to contribute their Apple Watch's heart rate sensor data and identify irregular heart rhythms.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Tag: health
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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How to Set Up Medical ID on Your iPhone

Medical ID is a built-in feature of your iPhone's Health app that gives ambulance crews and other emergency first responders fast access to potentially life-saving information about any allergies or medical conditions you have, even if your iPhone is locked.

Even if you don't suffer from any health conditions, it's still worth enabling Medical ID, because it can also provide other vital information about you to emergency services, such as your blood type and who to contact in an emergency. This article shows you how to set up Medical ID in iOS 11.
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iOS 11.3 Coming This Spring With New Animoji, Vertical ARKit, Health Records, Battery Info, and More

Apple today previewed iOS 11.3, its next major iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch software update. The first beta will be seeded to developers later today, followed by a public beta soon, ahead of an official release this spring.

iOS 11.3 introduces new Animoji on the iPhone X, including a lion, bear, dragon, and skull. There will now be 16 characters to choose from in total, including existing ones like a pig, fox, chicken, pile of poo, and robot.


iOS 11.3 will feature ARKit 1.5. In addition to horizontal surfaces like tables and chairs, Apple's updated augmented reality platform will now be able to recognize and place virtual objects on vertical surfaces like walls and doors, and more accurately map irregularly shaped surfaces like circular tables.


ARKit 1.5 can find and recognize the position of 2D images such as signs, posters, and artwork, and integrate these real-world images into augmented reality experiences, such as bringing a movie poster to life. In addition, the view of the "real world" will now be in 1080p HD, up from 720p currently.

The software update will introduce Business Chat, a new way for users to communicate directly with businesses within the Messages app. This feature will launch in beta following the public release of iOS 11.3 this spring, with support from select businesses, including Discover, Hilton, Lowe's, and Wells Fargo.

With Business Chat, it's easy to have a conversation with a service representative, schedule an appointment or make purchases using Apple Pay in the Messages app. Business Chat doesn’t share the user’s contact information with businesses and gives users the ability to stop chatting at any time.
In the Health app on iOS 11.3, users will be able to view health records, including available medical data from multiple providers like Johns Hopkins and Cedars-Sinai. The data is encrypted and protected with a passcode.


iOS 11.3 will provide users with an iPhone 6 or newer with more information about the health of their device's battery, including a recommendation if it needs to be serviced. In the same menu, it will also be possible to see if Apple's power management feature is active and turn it off if desired.

Apple says the battery and power management features will be coming in a later iOS 11.3 beta release, so they won't be available today.

Other new iOS 11.3 features include more prominent placement of music videos in Apple Music, a new Video section in the "For You" tab of Apple News, and support for Advanced Mobile Location (AML) to automatically send a user's current location when making a call to emergency services where supported.

The first beta of iOS 11.3 will be seeded to developers later today, followed by a public beta soon. The software update will be released to the public this spring for iPhone 5s and newer, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, the fifth-generation iPad, iPad mini 2 and newer, and the sixth-generation iPod touch.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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AliveCor ‘Kardia Band’ Medical Grade EKG Analyzer for Apple Watch Receives FDA Approval

Medical smartphone accessory company AliveCor this week received FDA-approval for its EKG Kardia Band, the first medical-grade accessory for Apple Watch. The band has been available in Europe for some months, but the product's clearance by the FDA means it can now be sold in the United States.

The Kardia Band for Apple Watch has an integrated metallic sensor in the strap that enables it to communicate with the company's app to take EKG readings, where it can detect abnormal heart rhythm and atrial fibrillation (AF), much like AliveCor's existing KardiaMobile device.


However, the latter device attaches to the back of an iPhone and requires users to hold their phone with both hands for 30 seconds to register a reading, whereas the Kardia Band lets wearers take readings discreetly wherever they are and in real time.

Users need only navigate to the Apple Watch-compatible Kardia app, start a reading, place their thumb on the sensor, and wait for the 30-second analysis to finish. During this time, they can also speak into the Apple Watch's microphone to note the presence of palpitations or shortness of breath, or any dietary habits that could be linked to heart-rate fluctuations.

Recordings are stored and viewed in the Kardia iPhone app, and can also be sent to the user's doctor. The app also connects to Apple's stock Health app, so users can integrate their EKG readings into other fitness data for a more comprehensive picture of their overall health.


According to TechCrunch, AliveCor is also introducing a new feature called SmartRhythm that utilizes a neural network for better insights into heart rate data. The company says SmartRhythm can potentially detect an abnormal heart beat using the Kardiaband or KardiaMobile EKG reader.

The AliveCor Kardia Band costs $199 and can be ordered directly from the company's website or from Amazon. Readers should also note that a subscription to AliveCor's premium service ($99 a year) is required to access all of the available features once the 30-day trial period ends.

(Thanks, Anna!)

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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Apple Considered Buying Medical Clinic Startup Crossover Health

Apple considered purchasing medical clinic startup Crossover Health as part of its push into healthcare, reports CNBC. Apple is said to have participated talks with the healthcare company up until recently, but after months of discussion, no deal materialized.

According to its website, Crossover Health works with major companies to provide employees with on-site medical clinics. Some of its existing customers include Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Square, and Apple, with many of these companies offering on-campus medical care.


Citing three sources with knowledge of the talks, CNBC says it's not clear why no acquisition ultimately happened between the two companies. Apple also talked to One Medical, another startup that offers patient clinics in several different cities.

Whether Apple would use such a startup to develop public-facing actual medical clinics or use existing facilities to sell products and gather data is not known.
The discussions about expanding into primary care have been happening inside Apple's health team for more than a year, one of the people said. It is not yet clear whether Apple would build out its own network of primary care clinics, in a similar manner to its highly successful retail stores, or simply partner with existing players.
Apple has made serious inroads into medical care with the introduction of CareKit and ResearchKit. CareKit is aimed at helping app developers create health-related apps to allow consumers better access to healthcare data, while ResearchKit is aimed at helping medical professionals develop studies to further medical research using data gathered from Apple customers.

Apple is said to be aiming to make the iPhone a "one-stop shop" for medical info, offering a centralized way to store all of a person's health data.

In the past, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that health is an area that interests Apple because it's where hardware, software, and services can come together into "something that's magical." "We believe that health is something that is a huge problem in the world," said Cook in 2016. "We think it is ripe for simplicity and sort of a new view, and we'd like to contribute to that."


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