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Apple Unveils Health Tech App

June 2, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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Apple is the latest tech giant looking to capitalize off the growing consumer trend of tracking personal health data, announcing a mobile app that does just that.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company's CEO, Tim Cook announced the app, HealthKit, at its annual Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC). Apple says the app gathers and integrates health data from a number of apps and puts it all into one interface. This interface allows these different apps to communicate with each other, the company says.

At the conference, Craig Federighi, senior VP of software at Apple, told the crowd that while there are apps today that can track health data for consumers, the information currently sits in silos. "You can't get a single comprehensive picture," he said, according to Reuters.

The company is working with several organizations upon launch, including the Mayo Clinic. The HealthKit app would work in concert with the Mayo Clinic app, which the Rochester, Minn.-based organization says is under development, and allow patients to access their personalized health information, guidance and care. If something is beyond normal, the app can even communicate with the healthcare provider.

Apple is the latest tech giant to make big investments into healthcare for consumers. As noted by CNET, companies like Samsung have already introduced multiple healthcare tracking apps in the past year. A recent report from the Health Research Institute at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said that there was a $64 billion marketplace in common health diagnostics, treatments and services that could shift from traditional healthcare avenues thanks to Fortune 50 technology companies, like Apple, Google, and Samsung. Other companies, like Fitbit and Jawbone, have jumped on this market opportunity from the ground up.

According to media reports on the conference, Apple also briefly mentioned its working with Epic Systems (Verona, Wisc.) on integrating with HealthKit. However, details on that collaboration were sparse.

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