A Look at 'Health' and 'HealthKit', Apple's New Health Initiative

Ahead of WWDC, perhaps one of the most hyped features for iOS 8 was "Healthbook," which was said to serve as a Passbook-style app that aggregated a variety of health-related information in a colorful card array.

While Apple did indeed announce a new health initiative and accompanying app, "Healthbook" turned out to be off the mark. The app is called simply "Health," and appears to differ a bit from how it was described in early rumors. According to Apple, Health is designed to be an "easy-to-read" dashboard of health and fitness data, which can pull in information from several different sources. "It might just be the beginning of a health revolution," reads Apple's iOS 8 Health page.

health1

Heart rate, calories burned, blood sugar, cholesterol -- your health and fitness apps are great at collecting all that data. The new Health app puts that data in one place, accessible with a tap, giving you a clear and current overview of your health.

The Health app keeps track of several different health metrics measured by various devices, including heart rate, calories, cholesterol, and more. It also features an "emergency card" that includes all of a user's important health information, including blood type and allergies, which can be displayed directly on the lock screen of an iOS device.

health2
As can be seen in screenshots of the app, it aggregates information into a selection of categories such as Diagnostics, Fitness, Lab Results, Medications, Nutrition, Sleep, and Vitals. Many of these categories can also be displayed on a dashboard chart, giving users an at-a-glance view of their overall health.

Accompanying Health is the HealthKit tool for developers, which can be incorporated into both new and existing health and fitness apps to allow them to access the health data stored within the Health app. Users are able to choose exactly what's shared and can, potentially, choose to share data from a health-related app with a doctor. Apps can also be authorized to share information with each other. A nutrition app might share how many calories are consumed with a fitness app, for example.

According to Dr. John H. Noseworthy, CEO of the Mayo Clinic, Apple's HealthKit has the potential to "revolutionize how the health industry interacts with people." The Mayo Clinic is already working with Apple and HealthKit, creating an app that allows patients to monitor their blood pressure, sending alerts to doctors automatically.

Despite all of the focus on Apple's health related initiative before WWDC, the company spent very little time going over the Health app. It is likely we'll see an additional focus on Health in the coming months as it is likely to also integrate with Apple's much-rumored wearable device, the iWatch. Health and HealthKit, both part of iOS 8, are available to developers today with a public release of the operating system expected in the fall.

Related Forum: iOS 8

Top Rated Comments

chriscrk Avatar
127 months ago
How is this innovation?

Apple did two things today:
1) Connected the devices they all ready make
2) Enable developers deeper access to the system

No new innovations from Apple yet again.

At least Tim has learned he is a bumbling idiot and let Craig to most of the talking. Now if only they had more then one guy who could give a presentation maybe I could stay focused.

(and don't call me a troll, I have been buying Apple for longer then most. Just look at the stock price after the announcement today...)

Maybe we will see something exciting at the iPhone/iPad announcements later this year.

Stock prices never seem to rise much, or at all, after announcements, because the people in WS think just like you: If Apple doesn't introduce something absolutely game changing, they believe they're failing.

Fact is, Apple did present lots of awesome new things today, a lot of them which go towards developers, which in turn will be beneficial to users. It's just not as direct as "here's new features for you users".

Plus, surely a lot of these things will be expanded on a bit more with the introduction of the iPhone 6 (and iWatch?), such as the Health app.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cheesyappleuser Avatar
127 months ago
How is this innovation?

Apple did two things today:
1) Connected the devices they all ready make
2) Enable developers deeper access to the system

No new innovations from Apple yet again.

At least Tim has learned he is a bumbling idiot and let Craig to most of the talking. Now if only they had more then one guy who could give a presentation maybe I could stay focused.

(and don't call me a troll, I have been buying Apple for longer then most. Just look at the stock price after the announcement today...)

Maybe we will see something exciting at the iPhone/iPad announcements later this year.
I really can't get you.
Feature-wise, this is the biggest keynote Apple has announced since the iPad. This is definitely a long-term play: it doesn't make as much fanfare as a new product, but this is huge! It's all about making ground for what's about to come; a simply brilliant move from Apple.
Honestly, you couldn't ask for more.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Steviejobz Avatar
127 months ago
How is this innovation?

Apple did two things today:
1) Connected the devices they all ready make
2) Enable developers deeper access to the system

No new innovations from Apple yet again.

At least Tim has learned he is a bumbling idiot and let Craig to most of the talking. Now if only they had more then one guy who could give a presentation maybe I could stay focused.

(and don't call me a troll, I have been buying Apple for longer then most. Just look at the stock price after the announcement today...)

Maybe we will see something exciting at the iPhone/iPad announcements later this year.

Sorry but looking at one day performance is trolling. Apple shares have outperformed the market over the past 1-2 months. You are a buyer so it is understood that developer centric updates might not seem like innovation but Apple further entrenched users into its ecosystem with the improved continuity and a whole new generation of developers will be using Swift and create things for Apple they might not have otherwise. Admittedly these are longer range pursuits but lack of such investment into the R&D can have dire consequences for the company longer term. Just ask RIMM. As a shareholder you should be pleased and the hardware which most average folks salivate over will be forthcoming as per usual.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The Doctor11 Avatar
127 months ago
The rumors looked better :( Thats just sad
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chriscrk Avatar
127 months ago
I felt like they didn't talk much about it. I figure they'll make a bigger deal about it when releasing the iPhone 6 + iWatch later in the year. It'll become far more important.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
losthorse Avatar
127 months ago
-- removed by user --
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
iOS 17

When Will Apple Release iOS 17.4 for iPhones?

Friday February 23, 2024 11:56 am PST by
Apple has been beta testing iOS 17.4 for nearly a month now. Below, we explain when the update is likely to be released to all users. In its press release announcing major App Store changes in the EU, which were implemented in response to new regulations under the EU's Digital Markets Act, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released at some point in March:Developers can learn about these...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...