By Stephen Schenck | January 31, 2014 8:05 PM
Apple’s been a company with eyes on health, fitness, and wearable gadgets for a while now – heck, there’s been that Nike+iPod tracker going back the better part of a decade, launching in 2006, and that relationship with Nike has only led to more advanced accessories, like the Fuelband. But as we look to the future, with Apple rumored to launch its own smartwatch, that interest in health-related tech may become a much larger focal point, and rumors claim that iOS 8 could reflect this in a big way.
Rather than messing with the platform’s look and feel, as iOS 7 did, iOS 8 may concentrate on sensor-based health and fitness tracking, all built around an app called Healthbook. With the assistance of the iWatch, Healthbook would monitor a slew of vital signs – beyond just counting your steps (though it would do that, too), it could record your blood pressure, heart rate, and even your hydration level.
While it’s still possible that Apple may spin iOS 8 in another direction, company execs did meet with the FDA last month, and that sure would fit with the moves it would want to make before introducing Healthbook; the FDA has been stepping-up its regulatory interest in mobile apps, specifically any of those that may be seen as diagnosing conditions or offering medical advice.
Maybe this could even help give Apple some ammunition against Google Glass and the rise of wearables on Android – while Android wearables are “creepy” and help you surreptitiously snap pictures, Apple wearables keep you healthy! That’s one marketing campaign just begging to be written.