Jun 02, 2014 06:35 PM EDT
iOS 8 Release Date: Apple Unveils 'Healthkit'
Apple Inc. unveiled Healthkit, a mobile application that lets consumers track health-related data, on Monday during its annual developers' conference in San Francisco, Calif., Reuters reported.
The app, which is part of a suite of new features outlined for its computing and mobile software, is meant to be a hub for health data. It will put together data such as blood pressure and weight, collected by healthcare apps on the iPhone or iPad, Apple executives said, according to Reuters.
"We think this is going to be really important for health care," Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, told developers at the conference.
The app also included a corresponding app named Health, which can be used with third-party fitness devices.
Federighi said several medical institutions have signed on as partners, including Nike Inc. and Mayo Clinic, "which has integration with HealthKit that goes to work when patients do things like checking their blood pressure rating," CNET reported.
"That information lives in silos," Federighi said. "You can't get a single comprehensive picture."
Health is becoming a big focus area for companies across the tech sector.
Just last week, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Apple's competitor, announced it will roll out a mobile health-data store called SAMI (Samsung Architecture Multimodal Interactions). The new data store is an effort to develop new sensors and a cloud-based platform for collecting health data. Samsung's Galaxy S5 smartphone currently incorporates heart-rate monitors and health-focused apps.
It is unclear how Apple will promote their latest project.
According to Reuters, Samsung plans to market its mobile health-data store by hosting a developer challenge and setting aside a $50 million fund for early-stage digital health entrepreneurs.
According to Mashable, Apple's Healthkit will likely go head-to-head with wristband trackers like the Fitbit and Jawbone. However, having access to vital health data would be relatively new to smartphones.
Healthkit will be made available with Apple's newly unveiled iOS 8 this fall.
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