Healthbook Stories January 29, 2016

iPhone on table showing Health app screen listing out steps, weight, and water

When news came out that Apple was working on a dedicated Health dashboard app, which would offer a way to take healthcare monitoring mobile, I was extremely excited. I had been recently diagnosed with traumatic arthritis in my knees and I needed a better all-in-one system to track my steps, weight, and BMI. None of the other apps on the market at the time seemed to do any one of those three especially well. Apple’s Health app has since become my go-to app for everything I wanted to log and more. It’s not perfect, but it’s a built-in dashboard with tie-ins to plenty of iOS apps.

Within a few weeks of using Health, I soon realized I wanted a better way to automate inputting data into the system. I eventually came to a methodology that worked great for me and decided it was time to share three of the different ways you can automate quickly logging your weight into the Health app.

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Healthbook Stories July 7, 2014

Google’s co-founders on how the company differs from Apple

In a ‘fireside chat’ with leading venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin discuss everything from the moment they nearly sold the company to why they are cautious about moving into health technology. One interesting angle for Apple fans was how the two contrasted their approach to that of Apple.

Brin, who runs Google X, said that the experimental wing of the company was about making a number of bets and hoping that some of them paid off.

From my perspective – running Google X – that’s my job, is to invest in a number of opportunities, each one of which may be a big bet. […]

If you look at the self-driving cars, for example, I hope that that could really transform transportation around the world [but] it’s got many technical and policy risks. But if you are willing to make a number of bets like that, you’ve got to hope that some of them will pay off.

Page contrasted this approach with Apple, which focuses on a very small number of products.

I would always have this debate, actually, with Steve Jobs. He’d be like, ‘You guys are doing too much stuff.’ And I’d be like, ‘Yeah that’s true.’ And he was right, in some sense. But I think the answer to that – which I only came to recently, as we were talking about this stuff – is that if you’re doing things that are highly interrelated […] at some point, they have to get integrated.

Another difference between the two companies, say Page and Brin, is in their view of technology in the health sector. Apple’s long-awaited iWatch is of course believed to be equipped with multiple health and fitness sensors, and the Health app is a key feature of iOS 8. Google says that while it does have some health-related ambitions – such as glucose-reading contact lenses – it views the field with considerable caution.

Generally, health is just so heavily regulated. It’s just a painful business to be in. It’s just not necessarily how I want to spend my time. Even though we do have some health projects, and we’ll be doing that to a certain extent. But I think the regulatory burden in the U.S. is so high that think it would dissuade a lot of entrepreneurs.

You can watch the complete interview in the video above.

Healthbook Stories June 9, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 1.58.17 PM

In the several months leading up to Apple’s 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference, we reported on several features on tap for iOS 8, the new iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system, and OS X Yosemite. Many of the features we reported on were announced last week: improved messaging, revamped notifications, various user-interface enhancements, indoor mappingiCloud improvements for end-users and developers, Shazam in Siri, Voice Memos improvements, the redesigned Mac interface, multi-resolution mode for Xcode app testing, and of course, health-tracking integration. But some of the reporting did not become official last week. Namely, the Healthbook name, various improvements to Apple’s controversial mapping software, and a split-screen iPad multitasking mode.

Let’s go through each feature one-by-one.

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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. expand full story

Healthbook Stories June 2, 2014

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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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Earlier today Apple announced the next version of its iOS software, iOS 8, during the WWDC keynote today. Below you’ll find a gallery of all the new bells and whistles in the latest operating system. If you’ve got some screenshots you’d like to send us, you can send them to tips@9to5mac.com.

The new software includes features like iOS-to-Mac continuity, quick-reply for first- and third-party apps, a new predictive text keyboard, changes to the Mail appHealthKit framework and Health app, Family Sharing features, new Photos cloud storage, an updated iCloud pricing scheme, new commands for Siri, App Store changes including beta distribution, a Touch ID API, third-party keyboards, new iCloud management and development features, a home automation framework, and even support for a brand new programming language.

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Following our reports earlier this year that exclusively revealed details and screenshots of Apple’s Healthbook app, Apple today just officially announced the app confirming the details of our reports. Apple’s new platform, codenamed Healthbook, will be officially known as ‘HealthKit’ on the developer side of things, and will come with an accompanying app for iOS 8 called ‘Health’. expand full story

Healthbook Stories May 28, 2014

Moto360

Rossenblatt Securities analyst Brian Blair is citing supply chain sources in Taiwan in stating that the iWatch has a round display, and is similar in design to the Moto 360 smartwatch shown above in a Motorola teaser image, but with a slimmer profile, reports Business Insider.

According to his supply chain sources, the iWatch will have a round face. Many people were expecting it to have a rectangular face, but Blair’s sources tell him it’s going to be round, like a normal watch

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Healthbook Stories May 27, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 10.10.56 AMApple has updated its website to announce that it will be live streaming next week’s WWDC Keynote address for all to watch. As per usual, the event will be available on Macs running Safari 4 or later, iOS Devices running iOS 4.2 or later, Windows machines running Quicktime 7, and via an application on the Apple TV. The event kicks off at 10AM Pacific/1PM Eastern time on Monday, June 2nd. Apple says that it has “exciting announcements” in store for the event (as it says for all of its events), which is likely to include talk of iOS 8 with Healthbook, a redesigned OS X 10.10, and new hardware products. We’ll be on hand live to bring you the latest news from the conference.

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Healthbook Stories May 13, 2014

Multitasking_Air

iOS 8 is likely to supercharge the functionality of Apple’s iPad with a new split-screen multitasking feature, according to sources with knowledge of the enhancement in development. These people say that the feature will allow iPad users to run and interact with two iPad applications at once. Up until now, each iPad application either developed by Apple or available on the App Store is only usable individually in a full-screen view.

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Healthbook Stories May 5, 2014

Reuters is out today with a story headlined “Apple on medical tech hiring spree, a possible hint of iWatch plans.” The article is mostly a summary of nearly a year’s worth of our reporting here at 9to5Mac, but does add some fresh 3rd party analysis into Apple’s impact on the biomedical field. Starting from the beginning of the reporting’s details:

Reuters, today: 

Apple Inc is building a team of senior medical technology executives, raising hackles in the biotechnology community and offering a hint of what the iPhone maker may be planning for its widely expected iWatch and other wearable technology.

 iWatch’s novelty emerges as Apple taps sensor and fitness experts:

Apple has begun assembling a team of hardware and software engineering, medical sensor, manufacturing, and fitness experts, indicating the company is moving forward with a project to build a fitness-oriented, sensor-laden wearable computer, according to our sources.

Going point-by-point:

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Healthbook Stories April 25, 2014

Nike’s Mark Parker reveals some advice given to him by Steve Jobs (2010)

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Nike was winding down its wearable technology efforts with the intention of focusing on fitness software, such as thhe Nike+ Running app seen above. Today Nike CEO Mark Parker told CNBC (clip below) that the company is looking to expand its partnerships with other companies, including Apple.

Parker stopped short of saying that the two were collaborating on a future fitness endeavour (such as the iWatch), but said that Nike is interested in working with many companies looking to integrate its NikeFuel software into their hardware. Parker said that his goal is to reach a total NikeFuel user base of 100 million, over three times the current number of 30 million.

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Healthbook Stories April 22, 2014

Our own 9to5Mac Senior Editor Mark Gurman joined John Gruber of Daring Fireball on The Talk Show this week to discuss Greg Christie’s departure, Apple’s upcoming Healthbook application, and Apple news reporting in general. The episode is just under two hours long and can be downloaded from Soundcloud. iTunes users and subscribers will find the episode available here. You can also listen to the episode below. expand full story

Healthbook Stories April 19, 2014

DivyaNag

Apple has added Divya Nag, a rising star in the medical device community, to its in-house medical technology team, according to sources with knowledge of the hire. Nag made her entry into the medical technology world earlier this decade by co-founding Stem Cell Theranostics, a company that focuses on technologies for testing new medicines for the market and how the drugs will affect patients. Nag also participated in the Stanford-based StartX, an “accelerator” for medical technology-focused startups. Nag was just recently recognized for her many accomplishments in the medical and science fields with the Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 award.

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Healthbook Stories April 8, 2014

Concept: jivaldi.com

Concept: jivaldi.com

On Tuesday we reported that Apple was planning to reveal its entry into the wearable market in August or September. Now a new Digitimes report corroborates that timeframe. According to the new report, three different firms have supplied Apple with samples of flexible circuit boards that will be integrated into the iWatch for a fall release.

The companies involved are Flexium Interconnect, Career Technology, and Zhen Ding Technology Holding, according to Digitimes. Zhen Ding Technology Holding is currently Apple’s largest supplier of such parts and is reportedly planning to increase production in order to meet increased demand for iPhone and iPad circuitry.

As with all Digitimes reports, it’s probably best to take this with a grain of salt given their less-than-stellar track record. expand full story

Healthbook Stories April 7, 2014

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While Apple only officially announced its 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last week, we have been reporting all of the known information about what Apple plans to unveil at the event over the course of the past few months. Now that WWDC is official, we have compiled a roundup of everything we know about Apple’s next-generation iOS device and Mac operating systems below, and we’ve also included some new tidbits not found in our earlier reporting. You can find out what there is to know so far about iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 below:

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Healthbook Stories March 17, 2014

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…

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Healthbook Stories March 13, 2014

iWatch likely contains pedometer; Jawbone designer imagines ‘wearable kit of sensors’

With Apple’s iWatch looking set to have a major health and fitness angle, and likely to be bristling with sensors, it seems likely that a pedometer will be one of them. Patently Apple reports on an Apple patent designed to allow steps to be accurately tracked using a wrist-mounted device. Or, in patentspeak:

In some implementations, optimizations for detecting steps when a pedometer is worn at a user’s wrist are described. In some implementations, a threshold crossing step detection method can be enhanced for wrist locations by counting the number of positive peaks between comparison threshold crossings, adjusting a minimum peak-to-peak threshold for qualifying threshold crossings, and inferring a second step based on the amount of time between threshold crossings. In some implementations, the pedometer can automatically determine that the pedometer is being worn on a user’s wrist.

Jawbone’s design lead Yves Béhar, meantime, has been imagining how “a wearable kit of sensors” could enable us to effectively take our doctor with us wherever we go in a piece written for TIME

iOS8-screen

The above screenshot claiming to represent iOS 8 just showed up on a Weibo account. Even though the source of the images is absolutely uncertain, I have confirmed with several sources that these shots are legitimate. Earlier today, I detailed the new Preview and TextEdit apps shown above, and I previously discussed Healthbook. I’ll have more news on Healthbook in the coming weeks. Until then, you can check out a higher-resolution mockup of the Healthbook icon below. I’m not sure what the Tips icon is for, but it is probably a user-guide of some sort. Of course, it’s plausible that the icons are works in progress. More images below:

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Healthbook Stories February 13, 2014

fitness

The gadgetization of fitness has been a significant trend over the course of the past year. The wrists of anyone even vaguely into sports or exercise were suddenly adorned with the Nike Fuel Band, and our Facebook feeds full of RunKeeper and Strava reports of just how far our friends had jogged and cycled.

It seems pretty clear by this point that the iWatch will, when it appears, have a major focus on health and fitness. We don’t yet know exactly what it will measure, but I argued in an earlier opinion piece that it’s likely to measure more than any one of the devices currently available.

Will the old adage of ‘What gets measured gets managed’ apply, with all this data leading us to exercise more, eat more healthily and generally up our game fitness-wise? Or will it be a novelty that quickly wears off, with owners reverting to life as usual within a few weeks … ?  expand full story

wearables

Market analyst Canalys reports that 1.6M fitness bands and smartwatches combined were sold in the second half of last year, and is predicting that more than 17M devices will be sold this year, driven largely by forecast sales of 8M smartwatches.

Though currently a relatively small market serving fitness enthusiasts, wearable bands represent a massive opportunity in the medical and wellness segment. 2014 will be the year that wearables become a key consumer technology, as the smart band segment is estimated to reach 8 million annual shipments. Canalys estimates that this number will grow to over 23 million units by 2015, and over 45 million by 2017 …  expand full story

Healthbook Stories February 11, 2014

In January, we exclusively detailed a major upcoming Apple initiative: Healthbook. Healthbook is the working codename of  an app currently planned to ship with iOS 8. It is an app that stores and reads health and fitness data from wearable devices (such as the sensor-laden “iWatch” Apple is developing).

Since our initial report, some more speculation and mockups have emerged online about the app. Above are a pair of mockups posted to Behance earlier today. The mockups follow some of the details presented in our original article:

The “Healthbook” application is said to take multiple user interface cues from Apple’s own Passbook app, which is software for storing loyalty cards, coupons, and other materials normally stored in physical wallets.

The new health and fitness application’s interface is a stack of cards that can be easily swiped between. Each card represents a different fitness or health data point. The prototype logo for “Healthbook” is similar to Passbook’s icon, but it is adorned with graphics representing vital signs.

According to sources, the mockups are “vaguely” the right idea. Of course, Apple is likely testing multiple different user-interfaces for this software, and since we are several months out from an official introduction, things can and likely will change (even drastically)…

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Healthbook Stories February 7, 2014

Wearables

Apple has been developing a sensor-laden, fitness- and medical-focused wearable computer as indicated by several notable recent hires and information we have received from sources.

New Apple hires on both the senior executive and standard engineering levels have expertise in fashion, wearable product industrial design, retail, blood-reading sensors, medical device product management, hardware engineering, software vision, and fitness.

As the rumored launch of the “iWatch” approaches, we have compiled an up-to-date list (into categories of leadership, fashion, fitness, and health) of all known and pertinent recent Apple hires to provide a clearer picture of what Apple’s future wearable technologies could offer to consumers…

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Healthbook Stories February 6, 2014

Apple has published a job listing on its website seeking physiologists and engineers to run tests related to health and fitness data. This job will require the employees to “design and run user studies related to cardiovascular fitness & energy expenditure, including calories burned, metabolic rate, aerobic fitness level measurement/tracking and other key physiological measurements…”

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