Integrating smartwatches and fitness devices

Learn how we integrated a patient-facing app with the most popular smartwatches and fitness applications to help patients track their health metrics in real time and allow clinicians to refer to these metrics when making diagnoses.

  • industry

    Healthcare

  • Country

    California, USA

  • Team size

    40+ specialists

  • Period of collaboration:

    2015 – present

About the client

The Healthfully healthcare startup provides hospitals and hospital networks with digital healthcare solutions. During our eight-year-long cooperation with Healthfully, we’ve developed a wide range of software solutions, including a feature-rich patient-facing application. 

 

The Healthfully team asked Yalantis to integrate this patient-facing application with Apple Watch, Fitbit, Withings, Google Fit, and iHealth. These integrations were meant to lay the foundation for remote patient monitoring services. Wearable fitness devices are an additional source of information about patient health, alongside specialized medical devices. Patients can wear fitness devices all the time (unlike specialized medical devices), and the data collected by wearable fitness devices can aid in medical diagnosis.

Learn more about our client’s experience working with us

Business context

When integrating the application with smartwatches, we faced several challenges:

  • Accounting for differences between fitness and medical devices in regard to regulatory compliance, hardware configurations, and data exchange
  • Defining the frequency of data requests for devices that don’t provide data automatically
  • Setting up the correct data processing flow for different devices from the same provider (e.g. Apple) and defining how to merge data aggregated from devices and services of different providers (e.g. Apple and Fitbit)

Solution overview

  • To ensure effective integration with fitness devices and third-party health applications, we delivered a holistic solution that consisted of several critical components.

     

    Data management flow. We set up a quick data aggregation, processing, and visualization flow that complies with healthcare laws and regulations such as HIPAA as well as app store requirements.

     

    Fitness device APIs for smooth integration. Our development team studied each fitness device’s documentation to use native solutions and create a well-functioning user interface. For instance, to integrate with Apple Watch, we made use of the HealthKit framework to obtain data from Apple’s smartwatches and the SwiftUI framework to build a native interface for end users.

     

    Data access and sharing controls. We implemented encryption protocols to safeguard patient data in transit and integrated a range of security measures to ensure that only patients themselves and their authorized doctors can access patient data.

     

    Secure storage of large data sets. We needed to ensure reliable and secure storage for all sensitive patient data aggregated in the cloud environment.

     

    Testing framework. We provided comprehensive testing services (functional testing, performance testing, security testing, compatibility testing, and more) to verify that each integration functions as expected and that all fitness devices and applications transmit the requested data. The testing procedures also helped us define software issues and bugs that could impact patient safety or the user experience.

     

    Intuitive user interface. As part of the solution, we made sure that users can quickly access their fitness data, get relevant health statistics, easily connect any new wearable fitness devices, and share their health insights with clinicians or relatives. 

     

    Ongoing support and maintenance environment. Our dedicated customer support team regularly checks that the integrations remain functional and compatible with fitness devices and application updates.

     

Value delivered

As a result of our cooperation with the Healthfully team, we integrated a patient application with 5+ wearable devices and fitness services and achieved the following results:

Before:

  • Patients couldn’t use their personal fitness devices to track health metrics

  • Clinicians were unable to use data from a patient-facing app to support remote patient monitoring

  • Patients had a limited functionality set within their application and needed more diversity

After:

  • The client diversified their services and increased customer satisfaction and loyalty

  • The new solution enabled remote patient monitoring and analysis of patients’ vital signs and activity levels for early detection of health issues

  • Integration with smartwatches encouraged patients to take a more active role in their healthcare

Integrate remote patient monitoring with fitness devices

Enhance the patient experience and boost customer loyalty by connecting your software to a variety of smartwatches and fitness trackers.

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