Saturday, May 31, 2014

Design Inspiration: Health Tech

Apple is expected to announce a health app initiative at WWDC 2014 on Monday, as part of iOS 8.  The center of this initiative is expected to be an app called Healthbook.  It addition I think there will be an API and perhaps a health focused app ecosystem as well.

The rumors about Healthbook have been circulating for months.  And just yesterday MacRumors discovered that trademarks for Healthbook, HealthKit, and iResearch had been filed months ago, likely by or on the behalf of Apple.

I think this will be huge.  Competitors are already begin to ship simple products and announce plans for bigger things.

I think Apple's efforts will include some of the following:

Sophisticated health monitoring sensors

Leaked Healthbook app screen shot
Leaked Healthbook app screen shot
Health sensors need to go beyond just movement tracking and heart rate.  They need to integrate even more bio info into a device.  Apple has been making some serious moves in this direction with several new hires in sensor, biometrics and health technologies based on the many iWatch rumors.  Apple has already laid the foundation for this move with the M7 motion coprocessor in the iPhone 5s.

Health Central App

Apple has been rumored to be working on Healthbook app for iOS 8.  Healthbook would be similar to Passbook and be focused on bringing health related data from multiple sources, together in to a single app.  If extended to support second screen features of a wearable and integrate health sensors in wearables, it could provide a compelling selling point for wearables.

Health App Ecosystem

There really are only 2 viable and successful app ecosystems in the mobile space:  Apple’s iOS and Android.  And the advantage of a well established and mature ecosystem is immeasurable.  Besides the technology and infrastructure available, the vast amount of experienced developers and apps that can be leveraged in health apps and wearable health related devices immediately, is mind blowing.

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