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Technological advancements, sleeker designs, increased affordability and improved lifestyle has led to increased usage of mobile and apps. In recent years, we have seen smartphone and its apps have disrupted and transformed many industries. The healthcare industry – an industry that have totally transformed by smart devices. Why? – Because Health and fitness apps are showing increasing reliability, especially among Gen-Y. Now, everyone is using their Smartphones, tablets and Wearable devices for keeping a constant track of their heart rate, weight, sleeping & eating habits, calories burned, distance covered, etc. in a most digitized and accurate way.

Healthkit

Healthkit

According to Flurry, in comparison to the overall app industry which grew by 115% in daily usage, health and fitness app industry registered a growth of 49% in 2013. And, the Health and Fitness apps has outpaced the overall iOS app industry growth with nearly 100% margin in first half of 2014. In over two years, this exponential increase in health & fitness apps is due to the incredible innovation and the rise in the number of fitness fanatics, who usually spend more than three times the average amount of their time in health and fitness apps, as per the Flurry recent report.

Apple’s HealthKit – Bringing the world a step closer to integrated health data

HealthKit App

HealthKit App

Apple discovered the accelerating demand of a healthy lifestyle, and introduced HealthKit API at the WWDC 2014 in San Francisco. What is HealthKit API- it’s a body nursing system or tool for iOS developers that allows Health and Fitness apps to share their biometrics data with the new Health and wellness apps. It is designed to allow applications to analyze and share data about a user’s fitness activities that includes exercise routine, heart rate, sleeping & eating patterns and weight etc. The software interface is crucial for Apple as it collates the HealthKit with the Apple Watch that has sensors for evaluating one’s fitness. It also offers a rich set of unit conversion functions and supports duplicated reading by several fitness devices, in which the secondary device data is used to fill the gaps of primary device i.e. the iPhone.

Apple’s Health app is pre-installed as part of iOS 8 and is undeletable. It accepts data from other apps as well, then show individual health-related data like blood pressure, heart-rate, weight, and activity level by crafting in an easy to understand charts and graphs in one dashboard as well assemble all opt-in information to create a medical history of the user. For example, it will let the user know — how weight fluctuations are driven by diet, body measurements, exercise habits, sleep habits, and stress levels. The Apple’s HealthKit also includes Medical ID with Emergency Card, Sources that pools data from apps and devices, and Health Data with information like Body Measurements, Weight, Fitness, Nutrition, activity level, Sleep and Vitals. While, the Emergency Card has details like blood type, emergency contact, allergies; which can be accessed from the lock screen. In addition, at WWDC, Apple announced that health-data will be encrypted and there will not any iCloud back-up. And, also has asked Health and Fitness app providers to have a stringent privacy policy at place because health data becomes more significant and potentially actionable, when it is brought out of its own little shelf and combined with data from other health apps or devices. And, advertisers and marketers can use the data assembled from its HealthKit program, for marketing or other data-mining purposes.

Why Apple’s HealthKit can be the Next Big Revolution

health & wellness apps

health & wellness apps

It is no surprise that the health & wellness apps has experienced a healthy boost in value and is the NEXT big thing in the industry. According to Research and Markets, by 2017, half of the 3.4 billion smartphone or tablet users worldwide will use mobile health apps. Moreover, ABI also stated that the global market for wearables in health and fitness alone could reach 170 million devices by 2017. And, Apple is aggressively trying to derail the existent health and fitness related devices by multiple and proficient attacks. Apart from the HealthKit API and Health App; Apple Watch — the new smartwatch by Apple, was introduced to the world as the “comprehensive health and fitness device”. Apple’s HelathKit brought the new revolution in the healthcare industry, but has given opportunities to advertising and marketing agencies for abundant of health data. Considering the fact that health-related data is the most sensitive information, Apple has come up with great solutions and has left no stones unturned to make the Health App a highly secured platform for its users. Now, users have the granular control of providing or denying access of information at every class of data.

(Sources: Wall Street Journal, Apple, Ian Waring, Yahoo, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune)

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Anisha is a Blogger at Parangat Technologies. She just focuses on key technology and topics which can help people succeed in business.