Nike+ FuelBand iPhone app adds HealthKit integration, no longer requires a band

Nike today released a long-awaited update to its FuelBand app for iPhone users with the fitness tracking FuelBand wearable adding support for sharing NikeFuel points with Apple’s Health app on iOS 8. The update also adds support for motion tracking right from the iPhone for iPhone 5s users and up and no longer requires a Nike FuelBand to use.

The new version uses HealthKit, a framework introduced with iOS 8, to let Nike’s FuelBand app share data easily and with your permission to Apple’s built-in Health app and other apps that integrate with HealthKit. NikeFuel, the fitness company’s metric for tracking movement throughout the day, is featured as a supported fitness metric in Apple’s own Health app. Read more

Apple Watch expected to support glucose monitor for diabetics from launch date

dexcom

Diabetics using a glucose monitor made by DexCom will be able to see a continuous graph of their blood sugar levels on the Apple Watch, says the company. It is working on an app for the smartwatch that is expected to be available when the Apple Watch launches in April – alongside a similar app for the iPhone.

DexCom’s glucose monitor tracks a person’s blood-sugar levels continuously. The [app] converts that data into a simple graph that is just a glance at the wrist away.

The WSJ reports that the early availability of the app has been made possible thanks to the Food and Drug Administration taking a more hands-off approach as of last month. While medical hardware still requires FDA approval before it can be sold, companion apps no longer need prior approval – developers simply have to notify the FDA that the app exists …  Read more

Reuters: HealthKit pilot programs rolling out in over half of the top 23 hospitals

HealthKit

Reuters tonight reported that it recently polled 23 of the nation’s top hospitals and found that 14 of them have already launched the first stages of programs built on Apple’s HealthKit software in place, or have plans to do so in the near future.

These programs will allow doctors to monitor patients with chronic medical conditions and alert them at the first sign of a problem, giving users the ability to take preventative action rather than reactive. These programs will likely be expanded to include data collected by the Apple Watch when it debuts later this year.

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iOS 8.2 brings back blood glucose tracking, explains Health data

In addition to supporting WatchKit and the Apple Watch, the iOS 8.2 software update will re-introduce some previously removed features in Apple’s Health app on iOS 8 as well as provide some feature enhancements. As discovered in the latest iOS 8.2 beta for developers, Apple is reintroducing support for blood glucose tracking through the iOS 8 Health app after an issue with which unit of measurement the app defaulted to presenting problems for international users of the feature. The somewhat intimidating Health app is also getting a little smarter with brief descriptions for the various data points tracked by the app listed under each section. Read more

Holiday Gift Guide: Health gadgets — get a healthy start for 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2When the new year rolls around, a lot of us have New Year’s resolutions to become a healthier person and plan to exercise more. Last year I set my New Year’s resolution to do just that. However, last year was the first year I really used technology and wearables to help me with my journey, and I successfully lost sixty pounds. These gadgets helped me with my weight loss journey. They can keep you focused, inspire you, motivate you, and carry your gear.

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Review: Jawbone UP 24, a smart fitness band that gets you up 24/7

Screenshot 2014-02-11 20.59.55

The Jawbone UP bracelet has been on the market for three years receiving improvements every year. The Jawbone UP 24 received a major update: Bluetooth LE. Initially to sync the data onto the phone, the user had to plug the band into the phone’s headphone jack and wait, typically about fifteen seconds, for the data to sync into the app.

Now, since the UP 24 has Bluetooth LE capabilities, it is compatible with the iPhone 4S and later, the fifth generation iPod Touch, the third generation iPad and newer as well as the iPad Minis. Jawbone has made the UP 24 to be compatible with Android phones. Bluetooth LE allows the band to automatically connect with the Jawbone UP app.

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Fitbit users can finally view their data in the Health app thanks to 99 cent sync tool

fitbit-sync

A 99 cent app finally allows owners of Fitbit activity trackers to view their data in Apple’s Health app. Sync Solver for Fitbit provides a daily sync of ten different pieces of data to the Health app built into iOS 8 – a feature the company itself said it had no plans to introduce.

The first sync needs to be performed manually, by tapping a button in the app, after which it will sync data automatically every 24 hours …  Read more

Fitbit fitness tracking lineup dropped from Apple Online Store

Apple Watch fitness

Apple Watch will include fitness and health tracking features

Update: Fitbit statement below the fold…

If you’re in the market for a Fitbit device and you’re shopping at the Apple Store, you’ll probably have to shop elsewhere to purchase the fitness tracker. Following report from Re/Code last month that Apple planned to drop the Fitbit line of wearable devices from its Apple Store lineup, Apple has today removed the Fitbit Flex and other Fitbit products from its online store following low inventory over the past week. While its unclear why Apple is no longer selling Fitbit products through its retail channels, on the surface the move is similar to Apple’s decision to discontinue selling Bose headphones and speakers at its retail and online stores.

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Nike+ Running iPhone app adds HealthKit integration, elevation tracking, more

Nike has updated its Nike+ Running app for iPhone with optimized support for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screen sizes as well as integration with Apple’s Health app for iOS 8. The new version takes full advantage of the new iPhones so text and images no longer scale up. Integration with HealthKit means the Nike+ Running app can now add NikeFuel data and workout data to the Health app that comes installed on iOS 8.  Read more

Apple to disable another Health feature as UK and Australian users report blood glucose measurement issues

HealthKit

Apple has decided to disable one of the features of the Health application, specifically the blood glucose tracking capability, until it can issue a fix for issues reported by users in the UK and Australia, CNET reported tonight. The feature will apparently be removed through an incoming software update (perhaps iOS 8.1, or possibly 8.0.3) while the company prepares a patch to remedy the problem. Apple has also provided a longer explanation on its support website:

The Health app lets you manually enter and view blood glucose values in mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). This unit of measurement is used by a number of countries, while some other countries use mmol/L (millimoles per liter).

HealthKit supports both units of measurement. However, if you measure your blood glucose using a device that displays mmol/L, those values can’t be manually entered or displayed in the Health app with that unit of measurement.

To prevent confusion in countries where mmol/L is commonly used, we’ll soon release a software update that will temporarily remove the ability to manually enter and view blood glucose values in the Health app while we work on an update to support both units of measurement.

If you have previously entered values manually in the Health app, you’ll no longer see this data in the Health app after the update. However, your data won’t be deleted, and other apps with permission to read health data will still have access to blood glucose values that you previously entered.

Third-party apps will continue to be able to support both units of measurement and can continue to use HealthKit APIs to store blood glucose data.

While it’s true that the HealthKit framework supports measurement standards for both the United States and abroad, a bug that exists in the current version prevents users from manually entering or viewing blood glucose levels using anything other than United States measurements (mg/dL, or milligrams per deciliter) within the actual Health application. The UK and Australian standard is the millimole per litre (mmol/L).

Apple issued a statement on the problem, saying…

Apple reportedly dropping Fitbit wearables from its retail stores

Apple Watch fitness

According to Re/code, Apple may soon drop the Fitbit health tracking devices from its retail stores. The report lacked a specific reason for Apple planning to no longer carry Fitbit bands but noted Fitbit’s lack of support for HealthKit on iOS 8 so far as well as Apple’s own fitness tracking device plans with the release of the Apple Watch in 2015.

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Fitbit says it has no current plans for iOS 8 Health app integration

Fitbit-Health-01

Fitbit, makers of popular fitness tracking wearables and apps, has confirmed it currently has no plans to support Apple’s new iOS 8 Health app. After a bit of a delayed launch last month, a long list of developers have rushed to integrate support for HealthKit, Apple’s new frameworks that allow developers to share and tap into data from one central location on the user’s device: the new Health app in iOS 8. Fitbit, however, has confirmed in a few responses on its customer forums that it isn’t working on integration much to the frustration of its users that have been awaiting an update: Read more