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Healthbook — Could An App(le) A Day Keep The Doctor Away?

apple healthbook, healthbook, healthbook app


Apple products seem to be built off the notion that “anything you can do, I can do better.” It’s no surprise that the tech geniuses at Apple have been working hard to make their entry into the world of health-tracking software. Their newest innovation: Healthbook.

Popular apps and gadgets like MyFitnessPal, Fitbit, Jawbone UP, Argus, and the Nike+ FuelBand will be put to the test when Healthbook makes its debut. Steps, heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, sleep, hydration, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate and weight are just a few of the metrics that Apple is looking to track with this new application.

But it’s more than just offering a wide variety of recordable data; it’s a question of HOW they will measure it. The M7 motion co-processor that currently helps power the iPhone5 would not be able to capture all of these records. It would take an additional device or piece of hardware to successfully infuse most data into the app, such as a watch, fitness band, or headphones.

If successful, Healthbook would be able to assist the 25.8 million Americans (8.3%) currently diagnosed with diabetes — a number that’s expected to reach 1 in 3 adults by 2050 — by doubling as a blood sugar monitor.1

“Apple’s entry into the market could create significant improvements in the lives of diabetics.” –  Joe Madden, the creator of blood sugar monitoring application Gluco-Share.

Whether it will be successful or not is one question. But more importantly, do we even need it in its current state? Free apps like Argus, MyFitnessPal, and/or the Jawbone/Fitbit system already track metrics like sleep cycles, activity, weight trends, and nutrition. Moreover, researchers at Arizona State University studied the true merit of fitness trackers and their overall benefit to an individual. In their findings, they discovered that these trackers can often underestimate true activity levels and calorie burn. For Healthbook, this could potentially mean even more room for mistakes; and a larger margin of error.

No debut date is set, and while the application is currently being tested with iOS 8, the entire project has the potential to be terminated. Don’t fret — Healthbook isn’t the end all be all. Your primary physician should be able to tell you most of these stats, and a regular ‘ole apple a day never hurts.

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  1. American Diabetes Association []
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