All items tagged with "health"

iTunes highlights HealthKit-ready fitness, nutrition, and medical apps

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

Like a person with a new gym membership, Apple’s been on a health kick all year.

First we had the announcement of HealthKit at WWDC, then a fitness-oriented iPhone 5s ad in June, followed by Apple’s entry into the fitness-tracking market with the Apple Watch unveiling, and now the App Store’s been updated with a new “Apps for Health” section.

This section continues Apple’s trend for using human curation in the App Store by highlighting 14 apps which take advantage of iOS 8’s Health app by bringing health and fitness data into one centralized apps for access by users.

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How Cupertino’s rivals plan to survive the Apple Watch

How does a wearables company survive being Sherlocked? Jawbone has some ideas.

How does a wearables company survive being Sherlocked? Jawbone has some ideas.

In the business world, Apple entering your product category is a little bit like a tsunami crashing into a home aquarium. What had previously seemed like a nice, small and self-contained ecosystem suddenly runs the risk of being obliterated by a giant wave-maker.

When Tim Cook announced the Apple Watch at Apple’s recent media event, the crowd went wild. But exciting as it was for consumers, it represents a seismic shift for the currently $330 million wearable tech industry.

Devices that can serve up smartphone notifications, track fitness goals and even advise us on health matters have the potential to be huge — but they’re not yet. That’s about to change, according to Juniper Research, which forecasts that wearable devices like smartwatches could hit sales of $19 billion by 2018.

What happens to Apple’s marketplace rivals as this sea change takes place? Cult of Mac did some digging to find out how companies like Jawbone and Fitbit plan to survive Apple’s smartwatch revolution.

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CARROT Fit’s new punishments make for an hilariously cruel fitness app

Photo: CARROT Fit

Photo: CARROT Fit

With both iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 family of devices finally out, developer Brian Mueller has released an upgrade for his excellent CARROT Fit app, adding “a shiny new update to go with your shiny new operating system.”

For those who don’t know, CARROT Fit is an hilarious take on the fitness app: a little bit like 2001: A Space Odyssey‘s H.A.L. meets Full Metal Jacket‘s memorable drill sergeant Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. Welcoming you with a message of “Greetings, tubby human,” CARROT Fit is a snappily sadistic AI that will threaten, inspire, ridicule and bribe you into getting in shape over the course of a 7-minute workout.

It’s a surprising amount of fun, and today’s update adds news punishment in the form of ads and “random squirrel attacks.” There’s also iPhone 6 optimization, iPad support, and Dropbox data sync thanks to Apple’s new privacy requirements.

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Update: HealthKit bug forces Apple to pull fitness apps

healthkit

A bug in HealthKit caused Apple to pull several fitness apps from its App Store Wednesday morning, just as the company was rolling out its long-awaited iOS 8 update.

Apple said the problem could keep apps compatible with HealthKit, a key component of iOS 8 that facilitates sharing of data among health and fitness apps and hardware, out of the store for weeks. “We’re working quickly to have the bug fixed in a software update and have HealthKit apps available by the end of the month,” Apple said in a statement to Cult of Mac.

Brian Mueller, developer of Carrot Fit, said Apple called and emailed him to say his fitness app had been removed from the App Store due to a last-minute problem with HealthKit. His app, and several others including My Fitness Pal and WebMD for iPhone, are currently unavailable for download.

“The rep couldn’t clarify what was wrong,” Mueller told Cult of Mac in an email, “though users of the app who had already downloaded the update were able to use the HealthKit features without any issue.”

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Is the Apple Watch ready to become your digital doctor?

Will the Apple Watch revolutionize mobile health as we know it? Photo: The Next Web

Will the Apple Watch revolutionize mobile health as we know it? Photos: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Months of rumors suggested Apple’s wearable device would be a health-centric powerhouse capable of predicting heart attacks, analyzing sweat and other miraculous feats. But in reality, the Apple Watch seems more like a sexy, supercharged fitness tracker than a full-fledged medical device.

Still, this is an ambitious first-generation device — a crucial step forward for wearables that points the way toward the comprehensive health and fitness device the Apple Watch could become.

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Mayo Clinic will aid Apple’s mobile health drive at today’s media event

Apple will have a major healthcare partner on hand at today's special event.

Apple will have a major healthcare partner on hand at today’s special event.

The Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic is set to be at Apple’s special media event this morning to help demonstrate the benefit of Apple’s Health app to medical professionals, according to the Star Tribune.

Mayo Clinic is one of the best-known names in U.S. healthcare and partnering with Apple will benefit both organizations: Apple with legitimacy for its new mobile health push, and Mayo Clinic in terms of using technology to better provide health and fitness tracking for patients.

As per the Star Tribune, Mayo Clinic’s role at Apple’s event will involve demonstrating how data can flow into the more sophisticated management system of a major health center.

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Apple met with top health insurance providers about HealthKit partnership

healthkit

Apple is nearly ready to become the go-to place for healthcare providers to get all your personal fitness data, and along with meeting with hospitals to talk about the benefits of HealthKit, Apple has been talking to the countries biggest health insurance providers about partnering with its health initiatives.

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Apple partners with major healthcare providers to make HealthKit even better

healthkit

According to new reports, Apple has been meeting with major health providers to discuss its new HealthKit service, set to debut with iOS 8.

Apple has supposedly meet with healthcare officials at Mount Sinai, the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins, alongside Allscripts, which is a competitor to major electronic health records provider Epic Systems.

The talks concern how Apple wants to make the health data it plans to help collect (including blood pressure, pulse rate, weight, etc.) available to both consumers and health providers.

Apple hopes that physicians will be able to use this data (provided permission is granted) to monitor patients in between hospital visits, in order to make better decisions concerning diagnostics and treatment.

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Coffee app lets caffeine junkies make sense of their habit

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Jawbone’s new UP Coffee app can put your caffeine consumption into context. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple relies heavily on caffeine. A recent company job listing advertised a role for an iCup technician, with the important task of providing “a fresh brew coffee to all Apple employees within their department.”

Jony Ive’s design team is especially obsessed with the black stuff: For years they kept a $3,000-plus Italian Grimac espresso machine, despite the fact that it leaked all the time. For a while in the 1990s, the design team was even mockingly dubbed “Espresso” for their unabashed love of caffeine culture.

Apple’s not alone in its coffee snob behavior. The rise of coffee shops — with seemingly hundreds of variations on the old coffee standards — have infiltrated every city across the United States: Americans spend $18 billion per year on specialty coffee alone.

But how much do we actually know about it?

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WebMD update lets you stay on top of your fitness goals

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With the announcement of its Health app (and associated API) for iOS 8, Apple is making no secret of its plans to enter the health and fitness-tracking market. Capitalizing on this hype, WebMD has just updated its flagship iOS app to target health and fitness enthusiasts in a new program called Healthy Target.

A brand new section of the popular healthcare app, Healthy Target helps you to keep in top form, and on top of your various health-related goals, by setting specific targets and then tracking your progress as you work toward them. To do this, the app lets users connect their favorite activity tracker, wireless scale, or glucometer to automatically track sleep, weight, and blood sugar levels.

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