Apple transformed portable music players. It redefined what we expect from cell phones. It brought tablet computing to the masses.
Is the company planning to do the same for mobile health?
Some industry watchers think so.
This isn’t a small venture. Apple executives suggest that Healthbook is being positioned as perhaps the key selling point when the company releases its next operating system for iPhone, likely later this year. And the app also may pair with a new “iWatch” that’s under development and will contain biometric sensors.
In his lengthy post, Gurman further details how Healthbook is expected to work. Its interface is “largely inspired” by an existing iPhone application called Passbook, which is intended to centralize a user’s boarding passes, loyalty coupons, and so on in one place. Beyond fitness and diet, the app also has sections devoted to tracking physical activity, our sleeping habits, and hydration.
And Healthbook will offer blood monitoring features—”perhaps the most unique and important elements of the application,” Gurman writes—although it’s unclear exactly what it will track beyond oxygen saturation and glucose levels.
App’s appearance not unexpected
The long-awaited screenshots of Healthbook follow months of reports that Apple’s readying a push into the health care space. While the company’s interest in the sector is nothing new—my team has spent years covering its health-related innovations—Apple’s recent focus has been much more discrete.