The next version of iOS, the operating system for iPhones and iPads, will have a new health monitoring app called Healthbook, reports Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac.
It’s not the first we’ve heard of Healthbook, but Gurman’s latest report provides several more details about what it will be able to do.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Tracks steps taken and calories burned.
- Monitors blood pressure, blood sugar, and oxygen levels in blood.
- Tracks hydration, meaning it will tell you how much water you need to drink based on your activity.
- Respiratory tracking to monitor breathing.
- Sleep tracking, which will tell you how well you’ve slept and how often you get up during the night.
- An “Emergency Card” that can show doctors your vitals in case of an emergency.
But the real question is how Apple will be able to gather all this data. Right now, the iPhone 5S has a special processor called the M7 that can track steps taken and other basic activity, assuming the device is in your pocket. When it comes to blood pressure, hydration, sleep, etc. the user would theoretically need to wear some other kind of device with sensors that can directly measure those things. To be clear, there are sensors that can measure blood sugar and oxygen without breaking the skin, so it’s not like Apple is going to start poking needles into your body.
It’s possible Apple will open Healthbook to third-party fitness tracking devices like the FitBit or Nike FuelBand or require you to manually input the data. There’s also a chance Apple’s rumoured wearable computer, the so-called iWatch, will have a lot of health tracking sensors built into it. Last month, the New York Times reported that Apple executives met with the FDA to discuss the health monitoring capabilities of the iWatch. Such a device would likely need some sort of FDA approval.
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