According to the latest online rumours/allegedly leaked information Apple’s health tracking app Healthbook is soon to become a reality. With its Passbook-like interface, Healthbook will aim to analyze your activity and track your health vitals. More specifically, Healthbook will reportedly be able to monitor many of your vital statistics, including heart rate, blood pressure, weight, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, and blood sugar and will track your bloodwork, hydration, physical activity, nutrition, and sleep. Nevertheless, there is not enough information yet as to how the app will analyse bloodpressure and blood sugar levels, as these present a number of challenges in terms of their analysis (will this be done in real time?)
It is still unclear what additional devices or third party applications will be needed to source the data. Will the Healthbook serve as a unified place for all third party apps on the Iphone to store their date (similar to Passbook) and if so, will it only be compatible with Apple fitness devices/apps?
Even if I question the legitimacy of these rumour, several sources have reported on Apple’s meeting with the FDA back in January; a meeting that came just weeks after Google’s own meeting with the FDA to discuss its own health-related project that aims to monitor personal health through tiny sensors in contact lenses.
And if so, how will this shape future research directions in the field? Will Healthbook be another irremovable icon on the IOS homescreen (see Game center- my personal pet peeve). Will Apple go ahead with this and launch Healthbook as part of IOS8 or will it be scrapped all together? Only time will tell…