Apple is taking on the health world with its new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch. The new iOS 8 operating system comes with a preinstalled health app.
“[The app] essentially is a dashboard for all your health and fitness data,” said James Rogers, sci/tech editor for FoxNews.com. “So it could be things like weight, calories burned, that kind of information. And that’s going to work with, say, fitness apps and devices like Nike+ and Fitbit, but it’s also going to tie into a lot of medical apps long-term.”
The Apple HealthKit software is designed to transform how patients relay information to their doctors. For instance, a blood pressure app can deliver data directly to your physician for review.
Major medical centers are getting on board with the new technology.
“It’s got a partnership with the Mayo Clinic, it’s working with Stanford, it’s working with Duke… what Stanford is doing is they’re looking to basically track blood sugar levels for children. It’s going to be that type of thing— very, very specialized medical work,” Rogers said.
A Pew research study found that seven out of 10 Americans track their health regularly, which helps to maintain weight and other vitals. Wearable technology— like the Apple Watch— makes it much easier.
Some health experts say it may not be as good as it sounds, though.
“When you take away the behavior of writing it down, you actually lose a little bit of the conscientiousness or of you being aware of what you’re doing,” Ashley Koff, a registered dietitian, told FoxNews.com. “Unless you’re going back and looking back at your data, a lot of times my clients will say, ‘Oh, I didn’t even realize I was doing that.’”
Privacy concerns are sparking controversy as tech experts urge consumers to safeguard their data.
“Apple is doing what it can to push these app developers to make sure that your personal data isn’t passed along to marketers and things like that, but as this lawyer told me this week, you need to be your own consumer watchdog,” Rogers said. “You’re going to have to do a lot of due diligence on these apps on what they’re actually going to use that data for.”