Tim Cook pays a visit to VA hospital in Palo Alto where doctors use iPads to treat veterans

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Tim Cook took some time to visit a VA hospital in Palo Alto today, accompanied by Rep. Anna Eshoo of the CA-18 congressional district, according to a photo the executive tweeted. The Palo Alto VA hospital is one of many medical facilities around the country using Apple’s iPads to help treat members of the U.S. armed forces.

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Apple unsurprisingly working with more healthcare providers ahead of iOS 8’s Health launch

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Reuters noted today that Apple is working with healthcare professionals at hospitals across the country, including Mount Sinai and John Hopkins, in preparation for the rollout of the HealthKit system in iOS 8. The goal is to ensure that medical personnel are ready to read data from the system when it ships later this year.

This move is hardly surprising, as Apple intends HealthKit to serve as a collection place for all of a user’s health-related data, which can be valuable—even lifesaving—during a medical emergency. In fact, the Mayo Clinic demoed the first HealthKit-enabled application earlier this year during WWDC:

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Apple files for HealthKit trademarks w/ classifications for watches, fitness sensors, & medical devices

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Apple has just filed for HealthKit trademarks in both the US and Europe ahead of iOS 8’s launch this fall and in at least one filing includes watches in a list of goods that could take advantage of the health-tracking software.

While the filing in the US (filed July 31) only includes classifications for computer software and covers the HealthKit text, a filing in Europe (published yesterday) extends classifications to include health, fitness, and exercise sensors, medical devices, and watches: Read more

Apple bolsters iOS 8 Health app with on-device steps, distance tracking & caffeine monitoring

Apple has made significant enhancements to its upcoming Health application for iOS 8 in the latest beta of the new iPhone operating system. Most notably, the Health application can now utilize the iPhone’s own M7 motion tracking hardware for data sourcing.

The Health app’s Steps counter tab can now report steps without connecting to any third party applications or hardware devices. Because this feature likely uses the M7 processor, an iPhone 5s is required to get the steps data directly from the device…

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WSJ: Apple planning multiple iWatch models with as many as 10 health-related sensors

iWatch concept: Espen Oxholm

iWatch concept: Espen Oxholm

The Wall Street Journal has published a new report claiming that Apple’s upcoming entry to the smartwatch market will sport ten or more sensors for collecting health data. The report also claims that the company is working on multiple versions for the wearable device, which is expected to be released later this year.

The iWatch is expected to be a health-focused device and will likely work with Apple’s new Health application, which it debuted earlier this month at its Worldwide Developer Conference. The application and its associated framework, called HealthKit, already have built-in support for certain types of devices without the need for a third-party application.

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Ahead of Apple’s HealthKit, WebMD app now tracks health & fitness data from connected accessories

WebMD today launched “Healthy Target”, a feature within its iOS app that lets users track health data from a variety of sources like activity trackers, glucose meters, and other iPhone-connected health and fitness accessories. The feature lets users set goals, track habits, get easy to understand summaries of biometric data, and also provides progress reports and inspiration along the way. WebMD says the feature “will provide valuable assistance to individuals looking to manage chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes and obesity, as well as to a broader audience interested in achieving their fitness goals or more generally living a healthier lifestyle.” The feature acts a lot like Apple’s new Health app, which is about to launch alongside its new HealthKit platform for developers this fall with iOS 8Read more

FDA details high-level meeting with Apple: “Moral obligation to do more” with health, innovative sensors

iWatch-Concept-future-05Following Apple employees’ meeting with the FDA to discuss “mobile medical applications” earlier this year, AppleToolbox has published a response from the FDA to a Freedom of Information Act Request asking for more information about what was discussed.

A response to the request took three months to complete, and arrived just after Apple introduced its new HealthKit platform and Health app for iOS 8 last week. While much the FDA’s answer sounds like Apple was discussing HealthKit, the response also gives some interesting clues that Apple is working on health products that go beyond the sensors currently in the iPhone and iPad:

With the potential for more sensors on mobile devices, Apple believes there is the opportunity to do more with devices, and that there may be a moral obligation to do more… Sensors already exist on medical devices. For instance, Apple’s devices have cameras and accelerometers. There is still an opportunity to innovate, but Apple wants to make sure they are on the side of the FDA.

So we can assume Apple was likely meeting with the FDA for HealthKit, which takes advantage of the iPhone’s sensors and data collected by third-party apps through already available accessories, but it was also discussing implications of possibly tapping into additional sensors and doing more in the way of measuring health data. It won’t be any surprise to those that have followed our reports on iWatch as far back as last year, and we’ve continued following as Apple builds a team of medical, fitness, and sensor experts to work on the project. Read more

Report corroborates Apple planning to announce new wearable product in October

One of many iWatch concepts.

One of many iWatch concepts.

Re/code’s John Paczkowski is reporting that Apple is set to announce its new wearable product in October, according to sources familiar with Apple’s plans. The site says that the watch will take full advantage of HealthKit and Health, Apple’s fitness and health management app introduced in iOS 8.

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HealthKit supports some Bluetooth products natively, lets accessory makers skip app development

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Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

Apple’s new HealthKit platform and Health app for iOS 8 acts as a central location for users to store and share health data from third-party apps, but Apple is also supporting some Bluetooth accessories natively in the Health app. That means that some accessory manufacturers will be able to skip the process of developing a companion app for their product and instead allow HealthKit to automatically connect to and control the device itself.  Read more

Runtastic talks potential for HealthKit, plans integration for its health & fitness apps

Runtastic, the popular iOS app that has long been among the top 10 fitness & health apps on the App Store, is looking forward to Apple’s new HealthKit platform and planning to support it in a future update. Like the other companies we spoke with earlier this week including Strava, RunKeeper, iHealth, and Withings, Runtastic is embracing HealthKit and thinks it will ultimately make its iOS app better for users. We spoke with the company’s CEO and Head of iOS development to get their thoughts on HealthKit… Read more

RunKeeper, Withings, Strava, & iHealth plan HealthKit integration, excited for medical industry tie-in

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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: Read more

A closer look at iOS 8’s Health app (Video)

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Apple has officially announced its Heath app and HealthKit SDK confirming our detailed reports from earlier this year. The new HealthKit platform will allow developers of various health and fitness apps to have all related data populate within the Health app in iOS 8.

Apple’s Health app will serve as a central hub for all incoming data from companies like Nike, fitness apps, devices, and even possibly information from your doctor. Apple is working with the Mayo Clinic and other healthcare related companies to expand the Health app’s functionality and provide you with the most important information about yourself…

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