Apple's HealthKit in iOS 8 unites health data, talks to doctors

Among other things, the software will let health apps share data with fitness apps

HealthKit, a new feature of Apple's iOS 8, will let apps share health and activity information and send it to doctors.

The new version of iOS, announced at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference on Monday, will also let developers share features across apps, such as bringing a language translation function into the Safari browser. Other new features in iOS 8 include predictive typing suggestions, recording voice messages in the Messages app, and developers' ability to sell bundles of apps.

HealthKit was the biggest complete addition to iOS in what Apple called a major step forward for the mobile OS.

"iOS 8 is a giant release," CEO Tim Cook told the approximately 6,000 developers in the audience at WWDC in San Francisco. The new OS is available in beta testing now and will be generally released in the fall of this year, Apple said.

With HealthKit, Apple aims to bring together what have been siloed bits of information about health and activity in order to create an overall profile of a user's health.

Today, for example, activity level, heart rate and weight information are typically in separate apps, as are data about chronic health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, said Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering. Using an app that comes with HealthKit, called Health, users can see all the health and activity information their phone collects in one place, he said.

HealthKit will also let one application share information with another, with the user controlling what data is shared with which applications. For example, data such as heart rate and weight could be shared with a fitness app from Nike, which is working on using HealthKit, Federighi said.

Users will also be able to allow applications to share such information with apps from health care providers, who can compare readings with the ranges prescribed that patient. "If not, it can contact the hospital proactively, notify a doctor, and that doctor can reach back to that patient, providing more timely care," Federighi said. Apple has partnered with the Mayo Clinic in developing one such app. Epic Systems, which makes software for medical centers, is also working on integration with HealthKit.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags telecommunicationapplicationswwdcioshardware systemsiPhonetabletsmobileiPadAppleconsumer electronicssmartphonesMobile OSes

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?