More Details Emerge About Apple’s iOS 8 Healthbook App


More details about Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) rumored health-monitoring app, “Healthbook,” have been revealed by 9to5Mac. The latest Healthbook details follow recently leaked images from China that purport to show screenshots of the as-yet-unreleased iOS 8. One of the leaked images shows an icon for Healthbook with red, orange, and green color bands that represent blood pressure, calories burned, and heart rate, respectively.

According to “multiple sources working directly on the initiative’s development” cited by 9to5Mac, Apple’s upcoming fitness-tracking and health-monitoring app will manage data in nearly a dozen different categories related to health, exercise, and diet. The categories are Bloodwork, Heart Rate, Hydration, Blood Pressure, Activity, Nutrition, Blood Sugar, Sleep, Respiratory Rate, Oxygen Saturation, and Weight.

The design and appearance of the Healthbook app appears to be based on Apple’s Passbook app for iOS. Passbook was first introduced on iOS 6 and is used by companies to distribute coupons, tickets, gift cards, and customer rewards. The various health and fitness categories that are tracked by the Healthbook app resemble the cards seen in the Passbook app. Each of the Healthbook app’s card tabs is color-coded to represent the type of health or fitness data that it tracks. For example, the Bloodwork tab is red, the Heart Rate tab is green, and the Hydration tab is light blue.

Per 9to5Mac, the Activity, Nutrition, and Weight tabs are all related to fitness tracking. When these cards are opened, a graph that tracks the category’s related data points can be seen. For example, the Activity card allows a user to see the number of steps he or she has taken, the amount of calories that person has burned, and the total number of miles walked.

Similarly, the Weight card allows a user to view that person’s weight, BMI (Body Mass Index), and percentage of body fat. Each of the data points can be arranged by day, week, month, or year, and the information can be viewed as a number or as a visual graph.

Other Healthbook app tabs are dedicated to various health-tracking measurements such as heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen saturation. The app will also include an Emergency card that could provide crucial medical information to first responders in case of an accident or medical emergency.

Many industry watchers have speculated that Apple’s rumored iWatch will include some form of medical sensor technology that could work in tandem with the Healthbook app. It should be noted that Apple has hired dozens of medical sensor experts over the past several months, including Marcelo Lamego, Nancy Dougherty, and Ravi Narasimhan.

First reported by NetworkWorld, Lamego last worked as the CTO for Cercacor, a California-based medical device company that specializes in non-invasive health-monitoring technologies. The Stanford-educated doctor led Cercacor’s efforts to develop the Pronto-7, a non-invasive medical device that can detect a patient’s hemoglobin levels, pulse rate, blood oxygen saturation levels, and perfusion index.

According to a Google cache of Dougherty’s LinkedIn profile page, she last worked as the hardware lead for Sano Intelligence, a startup that is developing a wearable device that can “continuously monitor blood chemistry via microneedles in the interstitial fluid.” Dougherty also previously worked for Proteus Digital Health, where she helped to develop “an FDA regulated Class II medical device; a Bluetooth-enabled electronic ‘Band-Aid’ that monitors heart rate, respiration, motion, and temperature, as well as detects technologically enabled ‘Smart Pills’ that are ingested and activated in the stomach.”

Narasimhan was hired away from Vital Connect, a biosensor technology company, according to his LinkedIn profile page. At his previous job, Narasimhan oversaw the company’s research and development on biosensor technology for “remote physiological monitoring with wearable medical devices.” Although it is unknown if Apple’s Healthbook app is intended as a standalone feature or as a software accessory to the iWatch, the information provided by 9to5Mac’s sources seem to indicate that Apple is gearing up to take a major step into the health and fitness world.

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