IBM Will Harness Fitness and Health Data from Apple Devices

By Jeremy Hsu

All the health data on a single person collected by personal fitness trackers, mobile apps and electronic medical records could add up to more than 1 million gigabytes of health data in the average lifetime – the equivalent of about 300 million books. IBM has partnered with Apple and other companies in an effort to harness that data to improve personalized medical care for patients, as well as provide new insights for both medical research and health insurers.

IBM’s new Watson Health unit aims to analyze personal health data using the cognitive computing approach of its Watson artificial intelligence system. The technoloy giant is also building an online data-sharing hub named the Watson Health Cloud that will bring together clinical, research and social data from a swarm of sources. As part of the effort, IBM has teamed up with Apple to collect health data from iOS apps that are built upon Apple’s HealthKit and ResearchKit software frameworks. That means any personal health data entered by customers using such apps on their iPhones and iPads could flow to the Watson Health Cloud.  …[Read more]