After a series of problems with the software, Apple has finally released HealthKit in the new iOS update, iOS 8.0.2.
HealthKit was supposed to be released in iOS 8, however for unspecified reasons the release was delayed at the last minute. Despite this, it seems that HealthKit could have a truly big impact on health.
"What the iPod did for the music industry, HealthKit is starting to do for the health-care industry, affecting the business model and business strategy of health and wellness apps, hospitals, doctors, lab test results companies, and health insurance companies," said CEO of MedWhat, Arturo Devesa.
While HealthKit is now available to users, it's still not going to be used to its full capacity for some time. It is expected that around halfway through 2015, things will get a lot more interesting concerning the new health-tracking system and it may change how doctors interact with their patients.
"It solves health data transport issues at significant scale, allowing anyone to build software and services that are agnostic to specific devices or apps that an individual consumer chooses," said Malay Gandhi from the Rock Health accelerator.
The system will also allow users to have a central location for all their health data, without having to worry about losing data, as it is stored in the cloud. This is also helpful for those who may want to change devices.
Despite the excitement surrounding the health-tracking system, many aren't too happy about what it currently offers. Soon after iOS 8.0.2 was released it was revealed that HealthKit did not track women's menstrual cycles, which is seemingly a no-brainer for any health-tracking system that is targeted at a wide audience.
"We've seen a lot of conversation in our user community and on Twitter wondering why period tracking isn't part of it right away," said Lisa Kennelly, marketing community manager for Clue, a cycle-tracking app. "It's a Quantified Self practice that a vast number of women do, maybe it's not as well known about yet on the tech and development side of things. We're trying to change that!" Quantified Self is a company that makes self-tracking tools.
While there certainly some issues surrounding HealthKit, many are enjoying the features that it does bring with the first HealthKit-compatible apps being released to the app store now that HealthKit is available for users.
FitPort is one of the first apps to take advantage of HealthKit. It tracks steps, distance, calorie intake, weight, body fat percentage and so on. It will also act as a kind of dashboard, displaying information regarding a user's health in a way that is easy to look at.