Cool new HealthKit gadgets can measure practically anything

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Cool new HealthKit-compatible gadgets at MWC
New HealthKit gadgets make health and fitness easier than ever.
Photos: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Mobile World Congress 2018 BARCELONA, Spain — Smart sperm testers, body cavity inspectors, Bluetooth pillows, holographic jump ropes and contactless thermometers. It’s all just another day at Mobile World Congress, where more and more companies show off their new HealthKit-compatible gadgets.

If you want your iPhone to know absolutely everything about what’s going on with your body, these handy medical devices are for you. Here’s what they do — and why they’re cool.

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Withings Body Cardio smart scale
The Withings Body Cardio smart scale adds crucial cardiovascular insights to your health data mix.
Photo: Withings

Aetna is going all-in on Apple for help with health care

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Apple Watch Nike Plus
Your insurance company might subsidize your Apple Watch.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Aetna, one of the largest U.S. health insurance providers, revealed today that it will subsidize a major portion of Apple Watch costs for customers as part of a new initiative.

The company will combine its own wellness and care-management programs with the power of iPhone and Apple Watch to create new iOS apps that it says should significantly improve customers’ ability to manage their own health.

How to get ripped with Apple Watch weightlifting apps

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Gymaholic plugs the gaps in Apple Watch's fitness offering
Gymaholic plugs the gaps in Apple Watch's fitness offering

Fitness is not just about walking, running and cycling, despite what your Apple Watch may have you believe. Strength training is also important. Without it, your fitness routine is like a one-hand clap. Whether you are aiming for a ripped beach body or just to improve your overall health, you need to lift some weights.

Apple Watch and iPhone do not offer built-in support for strength training, but the good news is there are plenty of third-party apps that can plug the gap. Apple Watch weightlifting apps can help in three ways: by telling you what to do; showing you how to do it; and keeping a log of what you’ve done.

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Water intake is vitally important to your overall health. Here's the best way to track it right from your iPhone, or your Apple Watch.
Water intake is vitally important to your overall health. Here's the best way to track it right from your iPhone, or your Apple Watch.
Photo: Ally Kazmucha/The App Factor

ResearchKit is taking aim at hepatitis C

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ResearchKit is just as revolutionary as researchers hoped.
ResearchKit is just as revolutionary as researchers hoped.
Photo: Apple

ResearchKit is already helping medical researchers make groundbreaking discoveries in areas like Parkinsons disease, autism, and cardiovascular disease. Now the open source software is being put to use to study hepatitis C, a virus we know little about, even though over 3 million Americas suffer from it.

Upgrading Apple fitness apps: What’s missing and what are the alternatives?

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How could Apple improve their fitness offering?
How could Apple improve their fitness offering?
Image: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

Apple’s fitness apps are surprisingly limited given that is a core selling point of Apple Watch. Even basic features like mapping runs and challenging friends are currently missing. And from what we’ve seen so far, watchOS 2 won’t address these shortcomings.

Here’s my wish list of 10 things I’d like to see Apple do to get its fitness apps in shape.