Seven years out from the original iPhone’s introduction, and four years past the iPad’s launch, Apple has found its next market ripe for reinvention: the mobile healthcare and fitness-tracking industry. Apple’s interest in healthcare and fitness tracking will be displayed in an iOS application codenamed Healthbook. I first wrote about Apple’s plans for Healthbook in January, and multiple sources working directly on the initiative’s development have since provided new details and images of Healthbook that provide a clearer view of Apple’s plans for dramatically transforming the mobile healthcare and fitness-tracking space…

The Healthbook:

As detailed in the images throughout this article, which are complete recreations of screenshots, Healthbook’s user interface is largely inspired by the iPhone’s existing Passbook application. Versions of Healthbook in testing are capable of tracking several different health and fitness data points.

Healthbook Book

Each category of functionality is a card in the Healthbook. Cards are distinguished by a color, and the tabs can be arranged to fit user preferences. As can be seen in the above images, Healthbook has sections that can track data pertaining to bloodwork, heart rate, hydration, blood pressure, physical activity, nutrition, blood sugar, sleep, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and weight.

While other publications have reported to the contrary, the images clearly show that Apple is working on tracking hydration levels. Also contradicting other reporting, these images do not indicate that Apple is working on tracking stress or pregnancy data points. It is possible that this type of functionality could arrive in the future, but I do not believe Apple is currently developing those capabilities.

Healthbook Cards

Fitness Functionality:

Three of Healthbook’s tabs are dedicated to fitness tracking: Activity, Weight, and Nutrition. Activity, which is pictured above, is similar to many other pieces of fitness tracking software on the App Store and other platforms. It tracks steps taken, calories burned, and miles walked.

Also shown above, the Weight tab allows users to input their height and weight information to track statistics like BMI (Body Mass Index) and body fat percentage. Both the Activity and Weight functions allow users to track their fitness progress over the course of a day, week, month, and year. Each view includes a graph to visualize the progress over time.

The Nutrition tab in Healthbook allows users to enter their food intake and maintain a diet. This functionality is similar to what apps from companies like Jawbone currently offer. Combining fitness activity, weight tracking, and diet management into one application is certainly a powerful combination for both fitness enthusiasts and those trying to watch what they eat.

I previously reported that Apple hired Jay Blahnik, a world-renowned fitness expert and motivational speaker, to work on future fitness-related products. Blahnik previously worked as a consultant for several fitness technology companies including Nike, and he is likely contributing to the development of Healthbook’s fitness functionality.

HeartBlood

Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Monitoring:

Heart rate and blood pressure are two of the most widely known health-related measurements. Blood pressure is commonly checked at the doctor’s office, pharmacy, or home, while heart rate can be measured by iPhone apps, smartphone cameras, and gym equipment. Healthbook will be able to store and track heart rate/pulse data in BPM (beats per minute) as well as blood pressure data. Blood pressure will be recorded in both its diastolic (minimum) and systolic (peak) forms. Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Gear Fit wearable device and the Withings Pulse can work with a smartphone to track heart rate, but those devices do not include blood pressure functionality.

BloodworkBloodSugarOxygenSat

Bloodwork, Oxygen Saturation, and Blood Sugar Tracking:

The blood monitoring capabilities of Healthbook are perhaps the most unique and important elements of the application. Blood tracking functionality is found in sections called Bloodwork, Oxygen Saturation, and Blood Sugar.

The capabilities of the Bloodwork section are currently vague, but the tab can present several different blood-related data points normally provided by healthcare professionals and bloodwork labs. Hospitals often track blood data in yearly physicals for patients, including data points related to liver function, kidneys, thyroids, and the heart. Lab reports related to blood results are commonly distributed to patients through printouts, emails, or faxes. Using the latest software and hardware technology, it is possible that Apple wants to reinvent this process.

Healthbook can also track a person’s oxygen saturation. This refers to the percentage of oxygen that is in a person’s blood as a ratio to how much oxygen can possibly be stored in that person’s bloodstream. Oxygen saturation is important in the context of measuring a person’s respiratory rate (more on that below) and breathing quality. Many non-invasive devices for tracking oxygen saturation currently exist in the health tracking marketplace. Apple hired Dr. Michael O’Reilly last year, and he specializes in pulse oximeters, the technology used to measure oxygen saturation.

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 11.39.04 AM

Perhaps most importantly, Healthbook can track blood sugar (glucose) levels. According to 2013 statistics from the American Diabetes Association, approximately 26 million individuals in the United States have diabetes. 1.9 million people in the United States are diagnosed each year, and 1 in 3 adults will have diabetes by the year 2050 if the current trend continues. To track their blood sugar, diabetics use blood checkers several times a day. That unfortunate hassle could be somewhat remedied by an advanced, Apple-built application preprogrammed into the iPhone.

Joe Madden, the creator of blood sugar monitoring application Gluco-Share, told me in an interview that Type 1 diabetics check their glucose levels approximately six times per day. On the other hand, Type 2 diabetics test their blood perhaps only a few times per week. Madden noted that those numbers ideally should be more in line, and that Apple’s entry into the market could create significant improvements in the lives of diabetics. Madden’s software includes incentives and social media integration, but it is unclear if Healthbook will offer similar capabilities. Regardless, in an App Store market with hundreds of blood sugar management apps (some of which are shown above), Healthbook could serve as an intuitive, centrally-located solution.

HydrationRespiratory

Hydration and Respiratory Rate Measuring:

Hydration levels and respiratory rate are two other interesting health data points that Apple is working on tracking with Healthbook. Hydration tracking is critical, especially for athletes, and allows users to know how much water is in their bodies and if they need to drink more fluids.

Respiratory rate is the measurement of the amount of breaths a person takes per minute. Respiratory rate data can be interpreted via the same technologies used to power the aforementioned blood oxygen level data, and there are not many known wearable devices that specialize in tracking respiratory rates currently.

Sleep Tracking:

Besides tracking fitness and blood-related information, Healthbook will have the ability to track sleep cycles. Details on what exactly that entails are currently slim. However we previously broke the news that Apple hired one of the world’s experts in sleep tracking: Roy Raymann, and his experience may hold some answers. Before joining Apple, Raymann worked at Philips and founded the company’s “Sleep Experience” laboratory. Raymann’s research into sleep focused on sleep patterns, sleep quality, and alertness. It is likely he has been contributing to the Sleep tab of Healthbook.

JBJawbone’s sleep tracking feature

Several sleep-tracking applications and related devices already exist on the market. Devices and applications from FitBit and Jawbone (pictured above) can track when users toss and turn at night, measure when they enter deep sleep, and determine when the best time is for the user to wake up. Application like Sleep Cycle and Sleepbot use advanced algorithms to track movement during sleep and provide users with graphs to present sleep quality over time. Based on Apple’s hires, it is likely Apple is working on the capability to track similar data within Healthbook.

Healthbook Emergency

Emergency Card:

In addition to health and fitness tracking, Healthbook will be a centrally-located place that holds critical data about each iPhone user. The Emergency Card will store the customer’s name, birthdate, medication information, weight, eye color, blood type, organ donor status, and location. This information is critical for an emergency technician, doctor, or hospital staffer to identify and treat a user if they fall ill or become injured and are unable to speak for themselves.

The Emergency Card feature will also allow users to add emergency contact information. With that feature, someone would be able to instantly called a pre-programmed phone number to a user’s family member, for example, to notify them of an emergency. In order to be truly useful, it seems plausible that this emergency information would be accessible from the iPhone’s Lock screen much like Passbook passes could appear on the Lock screen.

Joseph Ekman, who founded the non-profit organization Emergency Standard, explained in an interview that he created an App Store application for tracking emergency information out of his personal experience with there being a lack of a standardized method of smartphones storing the pertinent details. With hundreds of millions of iPhones that will be capable of running Healthbook, Apple will be fulfilling Mr. Ekman’s vision of an Emergency Card standard.

Sourcing Data: M7, App Store, Third-Party Devices, or iWatch?

While Healthbook is capable of tracking, sorting, and managing various types of health and fitness-related data, it is currently uncertain where this data will actually be sourced from. I believe that the data will be sourced from at least one of four possibilities: the iPhone itself, third-party App Store apps, third-party devices, or a future Apple wearable device (iWatch).

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 2.17.16 AM

Thanks to the capabilities of the iPhone 5s’s M7 motion co-processor, Healthbook could technically receive steps, miles walked, and caloric data from the iPhone itself. However, that is where the M7 stops being useful for Healthbook. Blood, hydration, and respiratory rate information would clearly need to come from other sources.

The first possibility here would be that Healthbook serves as a unified place for all third-party health apps on an iPhone to store their data. Just like the similarly named Passbook is a central place for iPhone users to access movie tickets, coupons, and boarding passes from other apps, Healthbook could be a single place where iPhone users can collect data from their various health apps.

onlinestore

Similarly, Healthbook could be a single place where the various existing third-party iOS-compatible health accessories can be set up and store their data. The ecosystem of health accessories for iPhones is plentiful, and Apple’s own online store sells fitness bands that can act as pedometers, digital weight scales, heart rate monitors, sleep trackers, pulse oximeters, and blood pressure checkers.

With the existence of the M7 chip in recent Apple hardware, a plethora of health-related App Store apps, and several health accessories, Healthbook could very likely be a singular place for all the accompanying data to be stored and viewed. 

However, that theory does not explain the hydration, respiratory rate, and blood sugar tracking functionality in Healthbook. There are not many (or any) proven accessories to track those health data points on the market. This perhaps opens the possibility that Healthbook is designed to work in tandem with a future wearable device from Apple.

iWatch software head Kevin Lynch, fitness specialist Jay Blahnik, fashion expert Paul Deneve

Hires, patents, and other evidence have indicated that Apple has long been working on a wearable computer with fitness and health-tracking functionality. Specifically, Apple has hired several engineers with specific experience in designing, building, and shipping medical sensors. The majority of the medical hardware-related hires focus on tracking blood sugar levels and scanning veins. Notable hires include executives and scientists from SenseonicsC8 MediSensors, Sano Intelligence, and Vital Connect.

Sources have also indicated that Apple is working on a sensor-laden smartwatch, and that the device will synchronize with an iPhone over Bluetooth and other wireless technologies. Google is also working on its own smartwatch, but the Mountain View company’s device will likely focus on voice interaction and Google Now integration rather than medical sensors. Samsung recently introduced an updated line of smart watches, and one model supports basic health measurement functionality.

Pointing to Apple developing a major new hardware product for 2014 is Apple’s own CEO Tim Cook. Cook recently told employees that Apple has “big plans” in store for this year. Cook has also said on multiple occasions that Apple would be entering new product categories this year. Even with those comments, it is still unconfirmed if 2014 will bring Healthbook + iWatch or just Healthbook on its own for now. Regardless, Apple’s work on this application as well as numerous recent hires indicates that Apple is targeting fulfilling a vision of reinventing the health and fitness world.

Debut:

HealthbookiOS

Apple is said to currently be testing the Healthbook software with iOS 8, the next version of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system. However, it is possible that the application’s launch could be pushed back to a future operating system version or cancelled entirely. If the application is tied to an Apple-built device, the debut would likely be connected to that hardware and may not be introduced alongside other iOS 8 functionality during Apple’s mid-2014 Worldwide Developer’s Conference.

Sources have also indicated that iOS 8 will retain most of iOS 7’s design and features, but it will likely feature improved Maps software with public transit directions support, a standalone iTunes Radio application to increase usage, refinements across the system, and enhanced iCloud integration.

With hundreds of millions of existing iPhones and many more to be sold, Apple has the unique opportunity to recreate the health and fitness tracking market by pre-installing Healthbook in a future software update. After revamping the music, smartphone, and computing worlds with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, Apple’s next big insight could be software for improving people’s lives. Just like tablets, pocket computers, and digital music players are now part of the mainstream, Healthbook may just be able to transform healthcare and fitness management for the betterment of society.

Images re-created by Michael Steeber.

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129 Responses to “This is Healthbook, Apple’s major first step into health & fitness tracking”

  1. PMZanetti says:

    Healthbook: the first feature to get used less than GameCenter and Newsstand.

    Like

    • Completely disagree. I think there will be a large audience for this. There are so many people out there who use their iPhone for fitness tracking. It all depends on how Apple showcases it to the public.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tallest Skil says:

      GameCenter has more users than Xbox Live, you know.

      Like

    • Robert Nixon says:

      Gotta love the armchair commentators who think they the slightest clue what the public wants.

      According to recent research, only 30% of Americans don’t work out regularly, and almost 50% work out at least three times a day. And that’s the US, a country renowned for obesity and laziness.

      Even disregarding the exercise aspect of Healthbook, everyone could benefit from monitoring their vitals.

      I think you are grossly underestimating the potential reach of such a feature.

      Like

    • Sice I discovered Moves, I started to care about my fitness. I am not a fitness geek, but having those data, data which I can measure, is very usefull and motivating.

      Like

    • acslater017 says:

      Those that care can track their fitness. Those that don’t can’t track their diabetes. 100% market share! :P

      Like

    • marcosebastian says:

      This guy probably said the same thing about the iPad when it came out.

      Like

    • JLWord says:

      Health and Wellness may be the Next Big Thing. Not only Apple but Samsung with there health app on the Galaxy S5, the Gear 2 and Neo and the Fit Bands seem to think so. If it is not the natural evolution of where mobile is going, these giants seem to at the very least trying to direct the industry in that direction. Microsoft, doesn’t really have a horse in this race. They do have a beta Bing Health or Fitness app, but nothing as comprehensive as what Apple and Samsung are doing with thier software and hardware. It is interesting though, that there is a lot of hype around CORTANA. If “she” is more than Siri and Google Now, and somehow approaches the Digital Assistant in a more comprehensive way, “she” just may be the Next Big Thing. Definitely worth watching to see how this all plays out.

      http://wp.me/p48xNB-8w

      Like

    • Lee Palisoc says:

      Uh oh.. Somebody’s alone in his Game Center app. Just add us bro, if you want. :)

      Like

    • I love knowledgeable and constructive comments….when I see them.

      Like

    • Im guessing you’re that guy who sold all his Apple stock in 1994.

      Like

    • I would love to liberate the NYTimes (et. al.) from the Newsstand ghetto, but I’ve come to appreciate Passbook and I’m definitely looking forward to Healthbook.

      Like

    • Your comment reminds me of the “there is no public for iPads”, “who would want one?”

      Like

    • Gary Dauphin says:

      As someone who has been disheartened by the Apple products of the last two years, I will be happy to see something both innovative and useful to me personally. I like what I see so far…

      Like

    • Think its a great idea, fitness is the only real usable aspect / selling point to justify buying a smart watch (in my opinion), one of the main selling points of apple is its ideology / branding, ease of use and integration. It an obvious step forward. PMZanetti dunno how you can argue that people “don’t care about fitness” with the current explosion of gym members #doyouevenlift? Anyway a large percentage of “the people” can’t afford apple products. Apple have specific target market who, chances are will be interested in tracking their health, and need some kind of justification for spending £300-£500 on a new piece of tech.

      Like

    • dr3459 says:

      A lot of people use GameCenter and Newsstand though, more than you may think. Most people use it without even knowing since a lot of Games are Game Center compatible anymore. Even one of the most popular recent games, Flappy Bird, had it’s high scores run through Game Center alone. News stand a lot of people use to just as much so much easier to just have a news paper or magazine available on a iPad or iPhone than having to make a trip somewhere just to get a newspaper or magazine or having to hassle with a full on magazine. Those struggle because it took forever to have developers create stuff to work with them, and that tacky green felt forever didn’t help ever. Obviously they aren’t the most popular though which is why they should be an optional App Store download like iBooks. Also which is why Apple may get rid of Game Center even or make in an App Store option download. Healthbook though will have a much larger audience. It’s not just people who are into Fitness. It’s diabetics which sadly is becoming more and more people that are younger. Emergency Card which is good for absolutely anyone, being able to have medical information, emergency contacts and so on right it one place can make a huge difference, rather than having to get all the files to a location and maybe luck out that a person has an ICE contact on their phone. People who do want to track weight and their health it’s obviously great for. People with heart issues, breathing issues or sleeping issues. It’s so much easier to have one app like this from Apple that can track things through the phone and or possible the “iWatch” everyone is waiting for. Than for people have to download an App to track calories, one to track food, one to track blood pressure, one to track heart rate, and so on.

      Like

    • Nick Knell says:

      I think somebody hated ‘gym class’. :/

      Besides having fun at your expense PMZentti the fact is the health and wellbeing industries are not small.

      I’ll use it for sure.

      The only thing they can get wrong about this is to not make it highly customisable. Health and wellbeing targets/ goals are individual. To get the most out of these kinds of tools they have to measure precisely and accurately and provide rich data. There can be no ‘me too’ attitude to this- Apple will need to take it seriously.

      Like

    • And I’m sure Apple didn’t do Market research. I bet they’re just wasting billions of dollars to develop hardware and software that no one wants buy.

      Not. In other words, to think you know better makes you a friggin idiot.

      Like

    • Steve O says:

      American consumers will buy $600 bike computers. We’ll buy ThighMasters, slap electrodes to our bellies, and eat candy bars that have “energy” or “protein” on the label. Hell, Slim Jims are being repackaged as portable protein. You can live off nothing but Special K products and never eat the same thing in one week.

      So the potential market is well established.

      Just going to come down to execution.

      But let me tell you something: this diabetes thing is huge. If you could slap on an iWatch and find out if you’re moving in that direction, that could be a game changer. Every grandpa with diabetes would buy one for his kids this Christmas.

      I live in the fittest state in the country, and 1-in-4 of my fellow Coloradans is obese, and child obesity has our governor in a panic. There’s definitely a market. But again … execution.

      Like

    • As a newly diagnosed type II diabetic and someone with other health issues (fibromyalgia, PCOS, etc.), I would most definitely use this daily. I don’t have an iPhone (waiting for the next one to be released next month), but I would LOVE to have something like this for the iPhone, iPod, or iPad (or all three with syncing). I hate having different apps for different things and if I could keep everything in one place AND have my health information available to EMTs in an emergency? Yeah, I’d think there would be a huge audience for this. Especially considering how health conscious people are slowly becoming in this country. Make it easier and people are more apt to do it.

      Like

  2. ashtraywasp says:

    This is one of the worst Apple leaks in a long time; actual screenshots, the precise things the iWatch presumably tracks, the look and design of it all..

    Whoever is doing this leaking is probably (hopefully?) gonna get found out and fired. The fact there’s an enormous team working on iWatch for years without even a peep (other than the inescapable fact itself of some kind of wearable), then somebody working on the iWatch’s partnered app is leaking screenshots.. smh.

    Like

    • tilalabubakr says:

      you are absolutely right…
      Apple has always been famous by its secrecy, but now it’s all gone…

      Like

      • Not an expert here, but doesn’t seem a little bit too much of a coincidence this leaks in the exactly same day the first reviews of the “Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs” are out?

        I seriously believe think was “leak” was carefully planned by senior Apple management.

        Like

      • jrox16 says:

        These “leaks” could be purposeful to boost the stock since child-like investors just have no patience for secrets. Other companies do this as well…like Amazon and their drone delivery nonsense.

        Like

      • Sure, remember how secret the iPhone 5 was?
        Oh wait.
        Quit talking BS.

        Like

    • Tallest Skil says:

      I’m sorry, uh… how are “complete recreations of screenshots” in any way a “leak” or proof of ANYTHING?!

      Like

      • PMZanetti says:

        Please, don’t actually read the articles and then contribute knowingly. Such is so out of place here.

        Like

      • Tallest Skil says:

        Seems like, you know, if I was wrong, you’d point me to somewhere in the article it said that. Because I quoted it directly.

        How hard would it have been–if these were real screenshots–to say “These are real screenshots from a prerelease version of iOS 8”? Seems easier than the purposely obfuscated language that was actually used.

        Like

      • acslater017 says:

        Mark has a proven track record. I would presume that he has trusted sources and knows that the originals are legit. But they recreate them to prevent any incriminating info from being gleaned.

        Like

      • Tallest Skil says:

        Now… that’s the second time I’ve seen an insinuation of unique identifier steganography being used in prerelease versions of iOS in… what, just this week.

        Hey, Mark, is there any truth to THAT? Because that’s worth its own story.

        Like

    • I think someone at Apple had these leaked to help offset the negativity in the press, encourage developers and to get those “people” excited about the upcoming products. I don’t think this is by accident at all.

      Like

    • Healthbook is only interesting if it is released with a largish pre-existing eco-system. Which means that the various partners (and there WILL be outside partners, the article is ridiculous to suggest that this is only possible) all need to know the APIs.
      WWDC 2014 is only two months away, and it was all going to come out then anyway, at least the APIs. Given that this is new, Apple probably wanted to tell Jabra, Jawbone, Nike and everyone else in advance of WWDC to allow them to get their HW (new and pre-existing) working in time for the launch.

      All of which means that it becomes much more difficult to keep a secret. You can keep a secret when it’s one company internal, or maybe with one partner, but not when ten partners are involved. Better then, to leak deliberately and control the tempo of the excitement as you wish…

      And leaks work better for Apple’s purposes than official PR. Until Tim Cook announces it on stage, people will be arguing about what will or will not happen — lots of mindshare, lots of talk about Apple. Official PR gets one day of buzz, then interest disappears into the void.

      Like

  3. If this is legit and all their time and effort has been focused on being last to market with yet another fitness band, what a travesty of leadership.

    Apple has the resources and talent and (has had) the vision to develop something truly cutting edge – think video communicator, complete control of your home automation, integration with your auto all wrapped into an iWatch.

    I hope they’ve played this close to the chest and all the predictions about this device and related functionality are completely off base.

    Like

  4. Rafael Pedro says:

    Bing apps from Microsoft are far better. It’s not new, it’s just a copy for iOS system

    Like

  5. “Change the world” and “Leave the world a better place”. This project fits Apple perfectly for two reasons: it’s the sort of thing Apple likes to do just because it’s the right thing to do for people, and the subset of the population that uses Apple products will be disproportionally interested in health and fitness, I’d guess.

    Like

  6. Amazing article. I am completely sold. :-)

    Like

  7. Joe Mercer says:

    This will be an amazing contribution to personal health and could go way beyond the scope of what is presented here.. The central focus of iCloud and data analysis will predictively bring future innovation to now.. Now is a good name..

    Like

  8. Why would any sane individual share this data with Apple and the government. It will be used as a weapon against you later.

    Like

  9. Samsung is going to have a field day with this article. Give them six months and you’re likely to see an updated watch/band with all of these features badly implemented.

    Like

    • Completely agree Tom. I firmly believe that 9to5mac has now become the “first site to check in the morning for upcoming leaks and trends in the Apple world” by all Apple competitors. And 9to5mac delivers every time. While I, as a consumer, love this article, I am afraid that such exposé like this makes life extremely difficult for Apple and its employees. It also reduces the company’s competitive edge. I can only imagine the printers and copiers in some companies working at full capacity now.

      Like

      • ashtraywasp says:

        I totally agree, both of you pretty much hit the nail on the head.

        To any Apple competitors this must be a blessing. To Apple it’s terrible; all their work being released out for Samsung to rush out a copy of. They may even beat them to the punch with their own damn work. Really bad.

        With Healthbook no doubt appearing with iOS 8, I think it’s very safe to assume the iWatch (or whatever it’s called) will be coming at the same time, along with the new iPhone. That gives Apple around 6 months to get this thing out.

        I understand why Mark had to make this article, as a journalist being presented with this information; but at the same time it is screwing Apple over, even down to breeding distrust over who the hell is leaking all this stuff. Ultimately though, it’s the person leaking stuff to begin with that’s at fault, they’re the one very knowingly damaging Apple.

        If it was intentionally released on the same day as some shady book it’s a very nice thoughtful move by Mark though. This information passed onto him has obviously been worked on for some time, with recreated screenshots and a thorough writeup. The leaker didn’t supply this today.

        Like

      • @ Ashtray – why copy Apple? Do you think Apple is the only entity in the world that knows what to track relative to health. Have you heard of Digifit or any of those apps in the App Store. In fact, an argument could me made that Apple copied them. The health tracking market is wide open. Anyone can do.

        Like

      • Agree. They probably imagined like most of us that Apple wouldn’t be able to put all those sensors in a watch. But now that there is an indication that maybe they will, that might motivate them to do more.
        Well, if a website can get this information, I’m sure that Samsung can too.

        Like

    • I think 6 months will be too late for them. This is probably going to be announced in the summer or very early fall.

      Like

      • Possibly. I would think that Apple, at the very least, would want to announce the “iWatch” simultaneously with the Healthbook app. They don’t have to release it for sale but if they announce say, at WWDC, then for sale in the Fall, why not?

        Like

  10. I hope Apple will not close it to white list of devices and services and will give public API so it can be connected to Withings services, and mostly Microsoft HealthVault.

    Like

  11. One ugly software there. I use Runkeeper right now and find it very nice. To be a bit more specific: I don’t like the fact that the information is spread out among various “tabs”. There is no cohesion, no central point from which to get an overview of your own status. There are so many interesting graphical ways to show more than one info at the time. I really hope they got it completely wrong, or else, even if I am a big fan of the idea, I will never use it. I imagine having to constantly flip from one to the other tab when I could be seeing all the info on one, maximum two screens.
    “activities this week”, longest activity, current blood pressure, glucose, oxygen. And then, by touching on “history”, I get the latest values. But the overview needs to be there. One central “Health” place.

    Like

    • jakexb says:

      It is interesting to see Apple subscribing to the IN YOUR FACE school of minimalist design rather than valuing pleasantness. It’s interesting and I understand what they’re trying for intellectually, I just don’t like it.

      Like

  12. What is the purpose of this kind of post? Some kind of teenager reckless extravagance?

    Like

  13. sarcastic9medved says:

    I am a T2 Diabetic and I test my blood sugar 3 times a day. Also the problem with the iPhone tracking blood sugar levels is that test strips are proprietary to each Glucose Meter. Most Insurances do NOT cover the cost of test strips for devices not made by the major Glucose meter manufacturers. So unless Apple is going to make test strips inexpensive (very doubtful) I do not see this as a useful app for Diabetics.

    Like

    • Jared Jones says:

      I’ve been a Type 1 diabetic (or what I call “the real diabetes”) for 22 years and disagree completely. Their are sensors that can track glucose without blood or test strips, however cost has prevented them from going mainstream. If apple were to implement glucose monitoring into a device it would likely be one of those non-invasive sensors. I will be the first in line if the iwatch monitors blood sugar!

      Like

      • One reason why Apple will NOT implement glucose monitoring into a device: FDA. How often are new medical devices approved? How often is the software on your diabetes devices updated? Imagine if Apple has to wait 5 years to provide updates to iOS?

        Like

      • “Their are sensors that can track glucose without blood or test strips, however cost has prevented them from going mainstream.”

        Wrong. Accuracy is the problem.

        Like

    • My wife and I use the IBG Star meter and test strips on an iPhone 4S. Yes, those strips are not cheap and to my knowledge, the company who made the IBG Star did not put out an updated version for the new dock connector. So I don’t know what kind of hardware will be involved when comes to taking your sugar, but I hope at least the strips that will be used with the new device (if any) will allow for a variety of them. Maybe…..

      Like

    • I’m not sure that you are getting the real advantage of device involvement in health management. I too am T2 and I have to monitor blood sugar levels. The tests can be done with any number of devices, but the results have to be available over time for you and your health professionals. It’s the TRACKING and viewing of the results which make future health decisions more focused and beneficial. An app like MyHealth (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/myhealth-picture-your-health/id718080280?mt=8) – Disclosure – I am the developer & publisher of MyHealth

      Like

    • Tyger Twu says:

      No doubt there will be devices that will communicate or attach to the phone, but I am betting there will be a manual entry method, if not as the primary method then at least as a secondary method.

      Like

  14. gef4 says:

    Contrary to this article, Withings does have a monitor that plugs into the iPhone and tracks Blood Pressure. They also have a scale that sends info back to the app.

    Like

  15. Mark Gurman, Great story!

    Like

  16. sardonick says:

    It’s the first thing Apple has done to iOS in a while that I’m actually looking forward to. Hope it doesn’t suck. I can see the benefits in it if it does work as expected.

    Like

  17. jigsaw4life says:

    Great article, I really think if they release the watch at a nice price point, perhaps 99$ or 150$ it will be a great success. There’s always the possibility of new integrated hardware in the next iPhone release. I hope this all does tie back together though, it could be a great step forward. Especially if they keep up on it and increase the tech and ease of the sensors and make more data available over time. This could eventually lead the watch Into the shape of a ring, when tech improves and the small form factor is a realistic achievable design.

    Like

  18. Ok.. I am going to say it.. I think Apple is misusing the health application to get people to “Sign in” to Apple with their Body. This way Apple gets your identity and can build other commerce applications.. Since when is Apple really interested in your health?

    Like

  19. mrsparcblog says:

    Nothing new, this kind of applications already exists in the market, take a look to a PHR – Personal Health Record like ALERT MyAlert http://www.alert-online.com/myalert

    Apple, the wheel was invented a long time ago…

    Like

  20. Seems like everyone forgets when speakers and docks were the it things for iPods, ever company was making docks and speakers, now because Bluetooth docks are dying and most the speakers are wireless.

    Low energy Bluetooth medical and health devices are going to be like the boom for speakers and docks. Not really sure how many features and sensors Apple will bake into the iWatch or how many versions they will make. I would prefer a version that can tack blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels, hydration, and blood sugar. Maybe each new version of iWatch will have more sensors to track another part of health.

    I think apple will rely on low energy Bluetooth accessories to start of with. I hope they have $150 version for basic health functions like heart rate and pulse then another version for things like hydration and blood sugar for around $250.

    I’m 34 and have thyroid, adrenal gland problems that make my glucose level, blood pressure and heart rate fall and raise chaotically and would be great to have a device that easily tracks my vital signs. Needless to say the costs of conventual glucose test strips, oximeter, blood pressure monitors etc. make it easy and cheaper for people to track their health and they are going to. This will be one of the most lucrative markets the next 5 to 10 years. An application and devices that easily track health will save billions of dollars in health care costs. People like feeling in control of their health and this will give them just that.

    I think with Steve Jobs suffering from pancreas disease a glucose monitor will be something Apple will do, I just hope they do it sooner then later. Just with nothing submitted to the FDA I doubt the iWatch will tract all the vitals it shoul or need to for it to be truly revolutionary device mad change health care forever.

    Like

  21. Absolutely horrendous design for what could be a great set of features.

    However, do we need another fitness tracker in our lives? Don’t we all want the iWatch to be more than just a glorified Up, Misfit or FitBit?

    If it’s those things & more, then great. If it’s just a health/fitness tracker, it’s a bit of a yawner. And, again, the design of this software is eye-bleedingly ugly.

    Garish colors, lack of contrast, hard to read – Steve is rolling over in his cryo-chamber right now.

    Like

  22. There is no doubt that medical/health tracking is a growing use for smart devices. Our free iPad app… “MyHealth – Picture your health & Fitness” selects from 47 different health markers, including blood tests, and plots the results against medications. I’m tracking my weight, blood pressure, blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c and cholesterol levels as well as my daily step count. We don’t have the resources of Apple, but we are trying to help. An update of MyHealth is in beta now and will be available in about 3 weeks time.

    Like

  23. krellan says:

    Unfortunately, one big obstacle in the way of all these new healthcare apps and devices, in the USA, is our overzealous FDA. This overgrown agency is actually attempting to regulate phone apps in the same way as implantable medical devices. What’s more, the FDA is responsible for gutting the service 23AndMe provided, forcing them to remove their health results, allowing only ancestry results to be shown.

    I’m glad Apple is entering this market, because they will have enough lobbyists to hopefully help get some favorable laws passed, to rein in the FDA. Here is an example, unfortunately these laws did not pass last year, let’s hope they can try again this year: http://venturebeat.com/2014/02/26/new-digital-health-bill-proposes-to-undermine-the-fda-draws-mixed-reactions/

    Josh

    Like

  24. Abedoss says:

    I think there will be no iWach project in Apple, its just the iPhone

    Like

  25. I think a lot of people on here probably do not fit their target audience for this app. Think about those that already have to deal with health monitoring on an at least a weekly basis? (i.e. a growing number of baby boomers). This is a massive segment of the population. Guess what the majority of that segment uses – iPhones and iPads. Then you throw on top of that health conscious people and other people who have to monitor their health; what you are left with is a pretty good segment of the population that would get use out of this. I would say, a much larger segment will be using much more frequently than Passbook.

    Like

  26. Simply tracking health & fitness has limited value. More important is analyzing the data and turning it into insight and actionable coaching. For example, it’s not enough for a sleep tracker to tell you what you already know, “you don’t sleep well.” What’s needed is how to sleep better, change habits, reduce stress, etc.

    I believe (hope) the article is just a teaser with some strategically leaked info but without the whole story, which likely will include partners and an ecosystem. Apple’s been good at that, but we’ll see if they still have what it takes.

    Given FDA approval issues, Apple will likely limit what iOS 8 does itself, or what their next mobile device does. It makes more sense to let others fight the FDA battles and assume the liability risks.

    Even if HealthBook only acts as a PHR with emergency health data, I think enough people will use it for it to become the center of an ecosystem.

    Like

    • You nailed it! Raw fitness and health data is useless and me-too from every wearable device without data mining and useful actions on how the user can leverage those metrics.

      Fitness and health tracking is targeting mostly consumers but don’t forget insurance companies, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. The demographics is huge…

      Most iOS add-on devices does not claim to be a medical device to bypass FDA approval. So for those that require FDA approval, they will be coming but will be a lot slower to the market. I agree with you that Apple will NOT be launching any FDA-approved devices.

      The ideal scenario – a health ecosystem on an iPhone app or on a cloud platform where every vendor can plug-and-play is the best for consumers.You can pick any form factor that suits you (I think the watch is the best after testing so many wrist-, clip-, and ankle-based activity trackers) and they all get uploaded and analyzed on the fitness and health ecosystem or cloud platform servers.

      Like

  27. yawn – nothing to knew and not much value in the way of helping people with their health. Little to know information on metabolics – more of the same

    Like

  28. @PMZanetti you’re a tool. @Mark Monforti really?

    Like

  29. I would suggest Replicon’s cloud based time tracking software – http://www.replicon.com/time-tracking-softwares.aspx, an extremely easy to use hassle free application with great features and usability, all at one place.

    Like

  30. Avg U.S. health care cost U.S. $3,500/person, $7,900 if you’re chronically ill. Self-insured U.S. employers (most with >500 employees) can premium differentiate starting Jan 1, 2014. Meaning: you’ll be penalized if you don’t control your risk factors in the medium- and long-term. Result: you HAVE to track your own health and risk factors. Too bad for the Healthbook naysayers.

    Like

  31. stevey23 says:

    Some of these Healthbook apps/measures will be provided by apple; however important clinical data such as blood work and imaging will not; Apple will depend on partners to do so. Based on another leak, a silicon valley startup Informedika is gearing up to provide blood work data from any US lab and radiology imaging directly into the Healthbook.

    Like

  32. The new Health Book look really nice, I am interested to see what Apple has in store with it.

    Like

  33. Looking forward to the new Health Book App, that may be released along with iOS8. Interested to see what Apple has in store when they release it. Moreover, if this report is true then this could confirm, that Apple may be releasing a new wearable device as well to compete with smart watches from LG and Motorola which feature Android Ware.

    Like

  34. Do something new instead of old hat health. Hidden River Health Challenge is focusing on gene types and toxins: keys to chronic diseases, and pathways to health.

    Like

  35. macguydave says:

    Don’t respond to @PMZanetti as you’re simply massaging an oversized ego anyway. Obviously, PMZanetti wants everyone to believe that their interests are those of the masses. There are lots of people out there like them who are self-important and this is how they feel validated.

    Apple’s Cook and his team are obviously working with market data or they’d be in trouble with investors.

    Like

  36. macguydave says:

    @markgurman Check out the multi sensor in-ear wireless earphones and biometrics-gathering device The Dash from @hellobragi at http://www.bragi.com. Could be a great data collection device scheduled for release in late 2014.

    Like

  37. The naysayers may be pimply-faced teenagers who rarely give health a second thought, but they forget that a large percentage of the general public are aging baby boomers who are becoming increasingly concerned about health and fitness issues. Plus, a large percentage of doctors still keep patient records on paper, and perhaps apps like this will help push the health care industry as a whole into the 21st century.

    Like

  38. I have Type 1 diabetes. As the article indicates I test my blood glucose several times a day. There are many diabetic apps in the App Store. Very few of them get used. Not even the free ones. I don’t want to pull out my phone and enter data every time I test my blood. It’s fine for a few days but then adds to the burden of diabetes management. What would be great is having the data go straight form my glucometer to the diabetic app.

    Like

    • Khürt, I just did a quick search and the very first result was: http://www.bgstar.com/web/ibgstar ツ I’d say you are just not using the right glucose meter…

      Like

      • I have three iBGStar meters, four Lifespan meters, a Bayer Contour USB glucomter, and Accu-Check nano and a Glooko cable. Moving data off these devices is a PITA. The IBGStar is only useful is you have an OLD iPhone with the 30 pin dock. Got an iPhone 5/5s/5c? Then you need to carry around an adapter.
        Why doesn’t Sanofi have a newer version with the lighting connector? Because it takes time — years — to get things approved.

        I recently started pumping with an Accu-Chek Spirit insulin pump. The Accu-Check glucometer communicates with and controls the insulin pump. The glucomter was designed with the safety of controlling the insulin pump in mind. Not with being cool and connecting to a consumer device. YMMV.

        I stand by my original statements. Andrea, I doubt you know what the life of a person with diabetes is like.

        Like

  39. Our development complements the Apple Healthbook.
    We are focused not only on capturing biosignals, more especially in the risk analysis in real time.
    I invite you to see:

    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/lifekeeper-real-time-health-alerts-lifestyle-management-and-smart-training

    http://www.lifekeeper.pro

    Like

  40. Healthbook is a great idea. I hope it will possible to plug KcalMe that is the only 3D calorimeter in the World :-)

    Like

  41. I actually was doing some master research on similar field, although I am from IT background but I am glad the big company like Apple take the step into it. I come to knew during the research, it is not an easy task to get the these data. Not sure which technology Apple adopting.. hopefully something medically approved one.. else it wont make any sense…
    There is a company next to my university, approx. group of 10 persons were working hard (approx. 2 years) to make something similar function prototype but the doctor and medicine quality measurement system.. they did not approved it and the prototype all hard work went in vain… we conducted the interview with these guys and I did play with that prototype. Sadly that wasn’t approved :(

    Like

  42. pusatmutiaradilombok says:

    Maybe in the future you’ll take LITERALLY FIVE SECONDS and do a SINGLE SEARCH in ANY SEARCH ENGINE before accusing people of lying Togel Online Klik 4D .

    Like

  43. Any sense of whether or not Apple will be opening up an API for access to data points recorded?

    While the data here is definitely interesting and Apple is building something useful with its aggregation of endpoints, there are a lot of ways those data points can be made into useful *information* that people can take action upon.

    For example, PulseBeat (www.pulsebeat.io) takes wearable sensor data from people requiring care and makes it accessible and useful information for family members to better understand their loved ones’ health in a digestible, actionable way.

    Lots of other startups exist to help tackle health challenges, so I’m interested to see where Apple’s ambitions lie with aggregating and collecting all this data..

    http://www.ipostbit.com/

    Like

  44. Bailey Hsü says:

    You want health and quality life? You don’t need an iPhone for that to happen.

    Like

  45. Some mobile apps for fitness act as “personal fitness trainer” and help the users stay fit. Apple devices, now, allow you to get the data shared with your doctors directly. You can also calculate the amount of calories you take in daily. Fitness fanatics can also make use of wearables that helps them keep a track of their health and critical signs related to health also. There are several watches and devices available on the iTunes store. Apple has also got into wearables and launched iWatch. We can surely expect an acceleration of growth in health, fitness and wellness apps. – http://bit.ly/1spHVKE

    Like