Probably more important than Apple’s recent job opening looking for a HIPAA and privacy lawyer is Apple’s recent hire of Dr. Rajiv Kumar. Dr. Kumar is a pediatric endocrinologist from Stanford who was an early adopter of the HealthKit platform and used it for home health monitoring for his patients. NPR did a great profile of the pilot study Dr. Kumar performed using continuous glucose monitors that linked with iPhones in order to get reports on how well his patients blood glucose levels were being managed.
I see this helping Apple in two ways. First, mobile continuous glucose monitoring has been an area with huge demand in the diabetes community. It has inspired developers to create their own hacks that connect glucose monitoring devices with their phones, such as the Nightscout platform. Dexcom has been the leader in the mobile continuous glucose monitoring ecosystem overall, but the watchSugar app we recently reviewed shows the issues facing continuous glucose monitoring devices.
Second — having an academic who has actually done a pilot project with home health and mobile devices is tremendous as Apple tries to support their CareKit platform. The CareKit platform is different than ResearchKit as it’s focused more on the individual patient and care teams managing that patient’s health. Dr. Kumar should help provide realistic expectations on how these platforms can be used to provide home healthcare to patients.