8 ways you'll use Apple's iOS 8 HealthKit every day

Apple's HealthKit will let developers use your iPhone as a digital health hub. I've curated a few existing products and solutions to show how these will work with you across a typical day.


[ABOVE: 7 minute workout app image]

Start up

First thing in the morning, you hit the digital scales and begin your 7-minute work out. Brush your teeth and perhaps check your blood pressure. Stop briefly for a bite to eat and a hot drink (entering the details in your calorie counter) and you're on your way. HealthKit now has a good snapshot of your physical condition as you start your day: weight, calorie intake, blood pressure and dental hygiene.


[ABOVE: Pioneer's in-car add-on entertainment system will run CarPlay later this year.]

Moving out

Using your step counter app you walk (or run) to your next destination. If you're in your car, you'll use your device to open the door and launch the in-car entertainment system. If you suffer from any medical conditions, you may even run an app to warn you about blood sugar, pollen count or heart rate, to help prevent accidents.


[ABOVE: A 1950's office c/o Seattle Municipal Archives.]


You probably sit at a work desk. HealthKit will monitor your condition and apps will let you know to take a break from your computer, rest your eyes and move around. Once you make it through to lunch, you'll enter details on what you eat into your device, and perhaps take a stroll in the park, or hit the gym.


[ABOVE: Lifefitness products are already iOS-compatible.]

The gym

Smart exercise equipment will monitor and record your exercise achievements and set new targets. Calories consumed, weight loss and heart rate will be recorded against your daily HealthKit record and shared with other apps and devices you use. This means all your digital health assistants will be accurately informed, making better recommendations.


[ABOVE: Apple's partnership with hearing aid makers means that iPhone on his arm is helping him listen.]

The doctor

If you visit your doctor, HealthKit will enable you to share accurate information about your general fitness and calorie intake. As sensors improve, you'll be able to provide an accurate picture of blood pressure and blood sugar levels taken across your entire day. If you allow it, your doctor may have access to all your fitness data, enabling accurate diagnosis. If you happen to be hearing impaired, Apple's partnership with Resound and Starkey means you should be able to hear your doctor, too.


[ABOVE: Yummy food pic c/o The Food Place.]

The restaurant

Your iPhone will help you find the restaurant; park and find the car (or get a taxi if you're drinking). While at the restaurant, you might ask Siri to help you decide (by interrogating your dietary apps) which meals fit within your calorie targets.


[ABOVE: Intelligent pill boxes are already around.]

Homeward bound

You'll be reminded of what you need to pick up from the shops. HealthKit will assess your physical condition: Are you in good shape? Are you pretty tired and in need of natural sugars to perk you up? Have you remembered to take your medication today? Once you make it home, diet, fitness and recipe apps should work together via HealthKit to recommend a good meal -- just tell them what ingredients you have available. You might even be able to set them to cook before getting home. Your smart fridge will let you know what you need to pick up the following day.


[ABOVE: SleepBand pipes sweet music to you as you fall to rest.]

Hit the sack

Working with third-party solutions, HealthKit can help you sleep and monitor your rest: sleep patterns, duration and temperature sensitivity can be monitored to help you rest. Eventually, smart beds may monitor such data, while intelligent thermostats tweak night room temperature so you get the rest you need.

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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