Whenever Apple introduces a new feature baked into iOS that was previously a domain ruled by third-party apps like its new HealthKit platform and Health app in iOS 8, questions inevitably come up about how it will impact other developers and competing platforms. That’s why we were interested in finding out how some of the top fitness and health app developers and accessory makers are reacting to Apple’s HealthKit announcement.
We reached out to some of the big names in the health and fitness app world, as well as companies like Withings and iHealth that sell iOS-connected health and medical accessories such as blood pressure monitors through Apple stores. Not only did all of the companies we spoke with— RunKeeper, Withings, Strava, and iHealth— confirm they are already planning integration with their ecosystems, they also talked about how having one central location for users to manage health and fitness data will indeed be a good thing for the business.
RunKeeper CEO Jason Jacobs told me he’s excited that Apple is bringing “some of the other key players in the ecosystem (doctors, EMRs, etc) into the discussion” and confirmed both his RunKeeper and Breeze app will soon support Healthkit. Others are also excited for integration with the medical industry that currently uses a highly fragmented record keeping system for health data.
Here’s what they had to say:
Cedric Hutchings, Withings CEO:
“We are thrilled by the announcement of HealthKit’s availability. Withings has been a pioneer of the shared API approach in connected health because we think that’s what our users want. They want to be in full control of their health data, and to have it seamlessly available where it is most useful for them. Our online API is already in use by more than 100 partner developers, so our users can have their data syncs with all those third parties. HealthKit will enable even more possibilities and ultimately more services and value to our users. It is a no-brainer for Withings, so expect us to integrate with it in the future. “
Jason Jacobs, Founder/CEO RunKeeper:
“It is great to see a powerhouse like Apple is getting involved, and starting to bring some of the other key players in the ecosystem (doctors, EMRs, etc) into the discussion. This is exactly where things need to be heading, and with our continued laser focus on the direct-to-consumer side, having big partners like Apple start to tie other pieces together will be a helpful enabler of our efforts. We are excited for RunKeeper and Breeze users to be able to tie in their data with HealthKit soon!”
David Lorsh, VP Strategy & Business Development, Strava:
“As the first health and fitness app to integrate with the iPhone’s M7 motion co-processor, we are always interested in new developments from Apple. HealthKit appears to be a great platform that Strava can use to serve our global community of athletes with more insight about their athletic performance. We look forward to learning more developing our mobile app for HealthKit and iOS8.”
Adam Lin, iHealth President:
“What makes HealthKit potentially game changing is that Apple is in position to become THE hub for personal health data, much the way they have become the center of the digital music world. When you further consider iCloud as an enabler, this becomes a very real possibility. Beyond creating consumer value, this move can make an enormous difference for health care providers, creating a big step toward consolidation of the highly fragmented electronic medical records (EMR) space. I predict many of us will look back on this week as a key milestone in the transformation of health care.”
When Apple finally introduced its HealthKit platform, it announced what will presumably be the first of many partnerships in the medical space with the Mayo Clinic confirming it will tap into HealthKit to get health data on patients. As iHealth’s Adam Lin put it, that could be a “big step toward consolidation of the highly fragmented electronic medical records (EMR)” if more in the medical industry embrace it.
The Health app in iOS 8 will act as a central location as users can enter their own health and fitness related data for developers to tap into, and it will also pull in data from various health and fitness apps (like those mentioned above) once developers update with support for HealthKit.