Apple took a major step into the health and fitness monitoring space yesterday with its announcement of HealthKit, which will be included with iOS 8. The app is essentially an aggregation play of any apps that users are currently using to track their activity. To that point, the presentation began with shots of example devices consumers are using including the Withings blood pressure monitor, Wahoo Tickr, and the Fitbit Flex.
HealthKit will appear simply as “Health” on the iPhone home screen. Once open its dashboard is clean and shows stacked graphs monitoring different activities from calories burned, sleep patterns, to heart rate. The dashboard will also allow for monitoring health trends over an extended period of time to draw larger patterns. Apple SVP Craig Federighi, who presented HealthKit, mentioned the need to integrate various monitoring devices and apps that are currently silod.
HealthKit will also allow third party apps to share this data, such as Nike+. To qualm privacy concerns, users can select which apps access what specific data from HealthKit.
Perhaps HealthKit’s largest differentiation feature, is its integration with the Mayo Clinic App. Patients can preset specific ranges for the metrics they are monitoring and if a reading is taken out of that range, HealthKit can alert the Mayo Clinic App to this, and have a physician reach out to the patient:
Apple showcased the following quote on screen:
“We believe Apple’s HealthKit will revolutionize how the health industry interacts with people. We are proud to be at the forefront of this innovative technology with the Mayo Clinic App.” – Dr. John H. Noseworthy, CEO, Mayo Clinic
Given that Apple both sells fitness tracking devices such as Fitbit and Jawbone Up, as well as provides the iOS platform for health apps like RunKeeper and Map My Fitness, this shows that the company viewed traction in both categories as strong enough to move in with its HealthKit offering.