Apple Watch gets its app for doctors

The first physician-facing app for the Apple Watch has emerged. But instead of targeting clinical data, it’s being touted as a communications tool.Apple-Watch

Doximity, the San Mateo, Calif.-based developer of an online physician network that claims more than half the nation’s doctors as members, has unveiled an app that would allow doctors to communicate via their wrist.

Company officials say the Apple Watch app will enable doctors to send and receive HIPAA-compliant messages, receive notifications of incoming faxes and review invitations to connect with others on the Doximity network. The app will also enable quick conversion to an iPhone, iPad or Mac for image review and more detailed responses and, through Handoff, handle fax messages on the iPhone.

“I can’t imagine a more important reason to get information instantly than when it relates to your patient’s health,” Nate Gross, Doximity’s co-founder, told mHealth News. “Apple Watch’s impact on patient care could be tremendous, and it can save physicians precious time in a critical setting.”

The app will be available on April 24, the same day that the Apple Watch is due to be released.

The Apple Watch app was an obvious next step for Doximity, officials said, because more than 70 percent of the traffic on the company’s social network site comes from mobile devices, and some 85 percent of that belongs to Apple devices.

Doximity’s app is the first to target the mHealth sector in what has so far been an underwhelming rollout of the Apple Watch. While images of the new smartwatch show a sleek, stylish device with much potential, critics are panning the price tag – it starts at $350 and can top $10,000 for the top-end luxury model – and the lack of apps tied to biometric or vital signs sensors.

Analysts predict the Apple Watch will jump to the top of the crowded, consumer-facing smartwatch market when it debuts later this month, but many are wondering whether it will stay there. Doximity’s app is the first to target a provider market that has been consistently staying on the sidelines. If Apple’s designers can overcome initial problems with developing sensors that can accurately track physiological data from the wrist, the Apple Watch could find success with doctors.

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