Apple VP discusses health care technology at U-M Grand Rounds talk

July 9, 2015  //  FOUND IN: Announcements, Strategy & Leadership

Apple’s Vice President of Medical Technology Mike O’Reilly, M.S., M.D., returned to the U-M Health System last Thursday for a Grand Rounds talk on technology in health care and medical research.

O’Reilly has served as associate professor of Anesthesiology and director of Transplant Anesthesia at the U-M Health System. His colleague Kevin Tremper, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the U-M Department of Anesthesiology, introduced O’Reilly as a physician who helped set a model for cooperation between anesthesia and surgery departments.

O’Reilly spoke to approximately 140 attendees about his own career path, Apple’s health initiatives, and how physicians can incorporate apps and other technologies into their clinical work and research to better understand what’s happening in between office visits. For example, using Apple’s HealthKit, patients can utilize sensors in iPhone or Apple Watch to track their own heart rate and physical activity, and choose to share that data with their physician for a more accurate view of their health.

Apple also announced ResearchKit this spring, an open source software framework that makes it easy for researchers and developers to create apps that could revolutionize medical studies. These ResearchKit apps make it easy for anyone, anywhere to take part in medical research just by downloading an app to their iPhone or iPod touch.

“I’m really excited to see where we can take this thing,” O’Reilly said. He shared that within just the first few days, tens of thousands of people had signed up for research studies.

O’Reilly mentioned an important part of conducting research in this manner is to protect users’ information. Apple allows people to choose whether to join medical studies and what data they are willing to provide to which medical study apps.