Health and beauty

How Health works, Apple’s health app

Health is the name chosen by Apple for a new application included with iOS 8. It can function both as a container for all data relating to the health of the owner of the iPhone and collected by the phone itself, by third-party developer applications and accessories (such as fitness bracelets e activity tracker in general), and to give an innovative graphic design to these same data. To facilitate the task of the developers and to make data collection even easier, the Cupertino house has developed a framework dedicated job called Healthkit.

The objectives

For years, Apple and the iPhone in particular have been the “North Star” of many health-related application developers and manufacturers of activity tracker. The M7 coprocessor and its successor Phosphorus are born with the primary task of helping the iPhone SoC in collecting and analyzing data from the various motion sensors inside the smartphone (gyroscope, oscilloscope, accelerometer and others). It is a solution hardware proposed by the Cupertino giant to improve connectivity between the mobile phone of the bitten apple and the various external devices created with the aim of keeping the user’s vital parameters under control and anything else related to his state of health (there is also a fork Bluetooth connectable for iPhone).

Added to this are the various apps that allow you to enter data manually: there are apps, for example, to keep track of your diet and the amount of calories ingested; o to count the liters of water drunk during the day and to monitor the quality of sleep. In short, our smartphones can be literally inundated with an indefinite amount of data relating to our state of health, our physical activity, the way we eat and sleep.


The pourpose of Health (call Salute in the Italian version of iOS 8) is to offer a unique tool for the collection of data, their statistical analysis and their “transposition” into graphs and more.

The application

Health it will therefore be the “showcase” of Health Kiy, the application that will give graphic form to all the data collected by the coprocessor and by the motion sensors inside the application and by the accessories and external devices. It will collect movement data if, for example, you have purchased a activity tracker which collects information on daily physical activity; o on the blood sugar level if you are diabetic and want to note the values ​​on your device.


In the main section of the application it will be possible to view all the data that can be collected or transcribed manually: those relating to your health, body measurements, physical activity, quality and duration of sleep and other vital parameters. Body measurements, for example, include weight, body fat percentage, height, and fat mass. The data relating to physical activity, on the other hand, can concern the calories burned during the day or during a particular physical activity, the steps taken, the distance traveled and the road followed, the floors “climbed” and so on.

All sections will collect data and make them available to users in “visual” form, graphs and tables will be an integral part of each section and each Health screen. In this way it will be easier to analyze the historical data series and evaluate the evolution of our physical activity, vital parameters and anything else related to our state of health.

Healthkit for developers

The bees of Healthkit allow developers to create, save, and retrieve data relating to the physical activity and health of the device owner. As with the application, the APIs are also born with the idea of ​​providing those who develop applications for iOS with a single environment within which to cooperate and contribute to create a health profile as complete as possible.


The development kit has been designed to make life easier for those who want (or will have to) try their hand at creating an application that uses data arriving from motion sensors, activity tracker and from fitness bracelets and all other accessories capable of recording and analyzing data relating to the user’s health status. The elements and objects present in the API, for example, will easily make it possible to transform the units of measurement from the metric system to the US imperial system; keep data relating to physical activity (steps taken, “climbed” plans and more) or vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose level and more); access personal data such as date of birth, height, weight.

In addition to objects, developers will be able to access statistical tools and, using them, be able to create customized statistics for each user and view graphs relating to the trend of weight, muscle mass and more.


Both “Health”, both Healthkit they were created specifically to collect personal data of the owner of the iPhone and other mobile devices of the bitten apple. This, of course, raises further problems for the protection of sensitive information stored on the iPhone’s memory, but Apple has devised a complex system of permissions to prevent information from traveling too freely between the various applications.

Privacy, no problem

Before an application can have access to any of the data saved in the device, it must receive specific authorization from the user. Each authorization will relate exclusively to the type of data and the type of action for which it was granted: a actvity tracker who has received, for example, the authorization to write data relating to the steps covered, will not be able to write anything else, or perform other actions such as reading the saved data and their conversion into another unit of measurement.

Curated by Cultur-e

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