Apple has announced its new iPhone operating system will feature a health information platform which will work as a central repository for data from various health and fitness devices.
The iOS 8 upgrade will include the HealthKit platform, which analyses and integrates users’ health data from a range of apps.
Sitting on top of the HealthKit is an app, aptly named ‘Health’, which gathers all the information from various health apps and fitness devices such as Fitbit and Nike Fuel, and provides users with a clear and current overview in one place.
This means that information from exercise apps, wearable technology, blood pressure and heart rates measures, weight and sleep patterns can all be joined up, providing a single view of a person’s health.
In a statement, Apple said that each app can use specific information from other apps “to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness.”
"For example, the Nike+ apps using Nike Fuel will be able to pull in other key HealthKit metrics such as sleep and nutrition to build a custom user profile and improve athletic performance," said the statement.
It added that for example a blood pressure app could share its data with an app used by clinicians to gather info on a patient, to make sure the clinician “can provide high-quality guidance and care.”
The readings could also be sent directly to the user's clinician. Apple higlighted the Mayo Clinic app, created by the American nonprofit medical practice and medical research group
"Your blood pressure app could share its data with a physician app, such as the Mayo Clinic app, so your doctor can provide high-quality guidance and care," said the statement.
Dr John Noseworthy, chief executive of the Mayo Clinic said: “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.”
Announcing the plans for the new operating system, Apple said it is also working with electronic patient record supplier Epic on plans for feeding patient held data from the app into the EPR and back again so that data from the patient record could be available on the phone.
Apple has long been rumoured to be working on several health related technology projects. However, the iWatch, which has widely been to be the next ‘big thing’ from Apple in the health space, was not mentioned
EHI columnist Dr Neil Paul wrote in his column in March that an iWatch concept, where the watch captures your data, such as heartbeat and pulse, could be very useful as an early warning device, alerting you to any abnormalities.
The iOS 8 is rumoured to be released sometime over the summer.