Let’s be honest, as much as we love our Apple products, iPhone and iPad software announcements usually make us zone out. If we wait, our devices will tell us it’s time for an update anyway, right?
But yesterday—at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference—we found out that the new iOS 8 operating system (which will be released this fall!) contains a huge health-related component, so we were all ears. Apple spilled the beans on HealthKit—a tool that allows apps to access your health data—and Health, an app that puts all of your health-related data in one place.
If you use Fitbit, MapMyRun, Calorie Counter, or any other health or fitness apps, your stats are stored in each individual app. But during a presentation yesterday, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said, “you can’t get a single comprehensive picture of your health situation” that way. So that’s what HealthKit aims to solve.
With HealthKit, your information would be stored in a common database. Then, other apps can draw from it to provide a better-rounded picture of your overall health. For example, your favorite running app can track how many calories you should consume each day based on the information you plugged into a separate nutrition app.
Eventually (and depending on how tech-savvy your health care provider may be), you could use the information in your Health app to communicate with your doctor. For instance, you share data from your blood pressure app, so a doc can track your numbers. Based on that information, a medical expert could make recommendations to help you.
But while these new features may blow your mind, they’re also a little scary. (After all, what if you enter important information incorrectly?!) Once the updates are available, taking the time to review your stats and discuss any questions with your doctor (IRL!), will make sure your health is in the right hands.