As expected, Ford has announced the launch of the first mobile health app to connect to certain Ford models via the car company’s Sync AppLink platform: IMS Health’s Allergy Alert app, which is powered by data from IMS Health’s Pollen.com site. MobiHealthNews attended Ford’s media event in May 2011 when the car company unveiled its research pilots focused on mobile health. At the time the company said apps like Allergy Alert would take one to two years before commercially launching. That proved true: It took 14 months.
The car company said that automobiles were just another platform for apps, like smartphones or tablets. Last May, Paul Mascarenas, the Chief Technology Officer at Ford Research and Innovation, said at the media event: “[At Ford] we see health and wellness as a core area for us moving forward.”
Gary Strumolo, Manager, Vehicle Design & Infotronics, Ford Research and Innovation explained that Ford had architected three ways for mobile health services to interact with its cars: Bluetooth connectivity between the car’s computer and personal medical devices, remote access to cloud services via the car’s computer, and synching up to the health apps users already have on their smartphones.
Allergy Alert was one of mobile health apps that were on display at Ford’s event last year. Medtronic and WellDoc also showed off their wares: Medtronic demo’d a continuous glucose meter (CGM) that connected to the car via Bluetooth and allowed users to hear alerts about their blood glucose readings instead of having to fumble with their monitor’s screen while driving. WellDoc demonstrated its cloud-based DiabetesManager service, which could encourage drivers to double check their blood sugar right when they get behind the wheel if they had a low reading earlier that day.
More recently, Ford Motor announced that it had built on its in-car health monitoring initiative by teaming with Microsoft and Healthrageous to research how people can monitor their health and promote wellness with connected devices while in their vehicles. In January, the companies took advantage of the spotlight at the massive 2012 International CES trade show in Las Vegas to show off a prototype called “the car that cares.”
The number of allergy related apps is on the up and up. As we noted recently and following the completion of our recent consumer apps study, allergy-related apps, like IMS Health’s Allergy Alert, are an emerging and fast-growing subcategory of iOS health apps — a few such apps launch every month during the past year.
More on the Allergy Alert launch in the press release below: Keep reading>>