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Apple makes its big Health move

New iPhone and iPad app complemented by HealthKit tools for developers

Apple iPhone iOS 8 Health app HealthKit

From portable ECG readers to a multitude of fitness apps the iPhone has long been home to other companies' health tools, but now Apple finally has made its own big play into the health space.

The company yesterday confirmed details of its long-rumoured Health app and unveiled a new set of tools for app developers called HealthKit.

Apple hopes the Health app will become the single destination point for iPhone and iPad owners who use their devices to track and monitor their health or fitness.

But it doesn't seem like Apple's app will present a direct competitor, at least for the time being, to the thousands of standalone health and fitness apps already available through its App Store.

Instead the Health app will collect information from any health apps and fitness devices reconfigured to provide it and then present a single overview of users' health and fitness data.

The app is due out this autumn alongside the next release of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 8 - the developer version of which was launched yesterday.

This iOS 8 SDK release will allow developers to make their health and fitness apps communicate with each other and thus let users plug them into the new Health app.

In this way Apple hopes that its app will piggyback off established health and fitness apps to provide a more comprehensive picture for users of their health and fitness.

Apple provides two examples of health apps and how they might use the Health app and its associated HealthKit functionality. The first is Nike+ apps that use the NikeFuel activity measurement and which will be able to pull in other key HealthKit metrics, such as sleep and nutrition.

The second is more healthcare related and concerns the Mayo Clinic app for doctors, with which patients could choose to share data from the apps they use to monitor things like their blood pressure.

“We believe Apple's HealthKit will revolutionise how the health industry interacts with people,” said John Noseworthy, Mayo Clinic president and CEO. “We are proud to be at the forefront of this innovative technology with the Mayo Clinic app.”

3rd June 2014

From: Marketing, Healthcare

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