Here's how doctors will test Apple's new patient tracking features

Apple briefly hinted last week that hospitals would soon try out HealthKit's patient tracking technology, and we now know how those experiments are going to work. According to Reuters, both Duke University and Stanford University are weeks away from launching trial programs that will let doctors monitor vital stats with patients' permission. In the Stanford test, young Type 1 diabetes sufferers will carry both an iPod touch and a smart glucose meter to keep tabs on their blood sugar levels. There are fewer details surrounding Duke's pilot, but it will track the blood pressure and weight of those with cancer or heart disease.

The projects are starting out small; Stanford's initial effort will involve just two patients, for example. However, the hope is to expand the scope quickly if everything goes smoothly. Apple doesn't appear to be taking any chances, either. Reuters understands that the tech giant is thinking about certifying HealthKit app providers to make sure that they don't play fast and loose with your medical data, such as storing it insecurely or sharing it with marketers. It'll be a while before your iPhone becomes a medical diagnostic tool, but the necessary groundwork is quickly coming into place.