Here Comes Apple’s HealthKit and Health App

Apple is expecting to launch a Smartwatch on Tuesday that will have at least 10 sensors that will help you monitor your health and fitness. The Smartwatch is the missing piece of Apple’s big plan along with HealthKit, a data repository for a users health data that will work with its upcoming new apps like their Health app. Other companies like Google have tried doing something similar (back in 2008) but were unsuccessful and Microsoft has also tried to get into the game. But the keys to Apple’s success will be their timing, innovative team, product development and technology platform.

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Possible iWatch with Health App by Martin Hajek. Photo credit: Forbes.

Collecting all this health and fitness data maybe great but people need to be convinced that they first, even need to collect it, that the data will be safe and then what will they do with it. This is where Apple’s HealthKit and various apps will come into play. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article by Elizabeth Dwoskin and Daisuke Wakabayashi, “consumers now have more incentives to monitor their health because they are shouldering more of the burden of health-care costs. Whats more, a growing number of  companies are offering financial rewards for people to adopt healthy behaviors or track things like weight or activity.”

Having some of these new apps from Apple and other digital health companies will also help consumers have a better understanding of the scientific research and the value of the metrics that are collected. For example, I have heard that I should walk 10,000 steps a day and climb at least 8 flights of stairs for optimal health. But is that a minimum or maximum amount of exercise needed to improve strength or prevent a loss of aerobic capacity?

Hopefully all this new technology will help a persons primary care physician have a better snapshot of their patients overall health and fitness level. If the technology can help get individuals moving more and sitting less and help prevent or warn a person that they are, for example, pre-diabetic then that will help everyone and more than one company will win!

Suggested Reading

Apple’s Next Big Focus: Your Health, Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday Sept 6-7, 2014.

4 thoughts on “Here Comes Apple’s HealthKit and Health App

  1. Hey Phil – I was really pulled into all the hype while watching the Apple “show” yesterday. I was thinking the price for the Apple watch is a bit high – at $349 – was expecting a price point $100 cheaper. I am however excited about the possibilities of integration with their watch, new phone and healthkit and health app – look forward to seeing that.

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  2. So… what are your thoughts now the device has been announced?

    Less sensors than we thought it might have, but still reasonably compelling.
    My biggest concern is that for the fitness oriented it’s quite a bit more expensive than a typical activity tracker. Plus, of course, it’s an iPhone auxiliary device, rather than fully stand-alone. These two things will severely limit the audience, at least to begin with.

    Also: no GPS and quite a bulky design (I’m sure both those things will be addressed in v2).

    It remains to be seen whether it will gain traction – but if it does I feel sure that it will at least raise the level of awareness of the fitness-related features.

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  3. Tuesday’s announcement is going to be very interesting.
    Of note they are now inviting fashion industry journalists and bloggers too (http://www.macrumors.com/2014/09/06/apple-inviting-fashion-editors-bloggers-event/) – reinforcing that they are taking this device seriously as a fashion wearable – as well as the fitness tracker angle (for which the rumours are very strong). The upshot is that it is likely to get more people using them who might otherwise have been put off by some of the existing fitness trackers on fashion grounds.

    Still: we don’t know anything for certain yet. I’ll certainly be watching the live stream: http://www.apple.com/live/

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