An Apple a Day: iPhones for Health

There is an old adage that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” As wise as it is to eat fruit daily,  many of us ignore this rule.  However, before you over compensate for the wave of guilt you’re now feeling for that last doughnut or candy bar by devouring an entire  basket of apples this weekend, there’s another apple you should be looking at:  your iPhone.

Recently unveiled at WWDC, Apple is releasing a new tool for developers called HealthKit, which reportedly “allows all the incredible health and fitness apps to work together, and work harder,” for users. The information these apps collect will be neatly displayed in the new health app. In short, users will have one clean interface to truly track their health progress (or regress, let’s face it). Don’t worry:  the app isn’t just for dieters. Health will help users track:

  • calories burned
  • how much sleep you’re getting
  • lab results
  • medications
  • nutrition
  • vitals

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Of course, all of this data can be customized. If you don’t want to track how much you’re eating or how little you’re sleeping, you don’t have to. Health will allow users to see a list of all the types of data being tracked, and click on each to adjust the settings. In addition to the health app collecting data from your other fitness and health apps, it will also be able to provide these apps with more information. mm_blog_ihealth

While this makes lives easier for many users, it does pose an interesting conundrum for those of us who stop counting calories while we’re sleepwalking.

After all, if your health provider is tech savvy and you share this information with your  doctor via another app, you may need to remember to adjust your app sharing setting to keep your lies straight when the doctor asks if you cut back on that favorite midnight snack. (Milk from the gallon counts as a sleep aid supplement, not a caloric intake, right? Right?)

If wearing a medical bracelet isn’t your style, but your phone never leaves your side, iHealth can also become your emergency medical card. If you’re accident prone or need your EMTs to know about your conditions or allergies, this app has the potential to be a literal life saver.

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