Things got real for personalized medicine this week at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco. To wit, listen to Apple SVP Craig Federighi describe the new health functionality baked into iOS 8, now in beta:
Developers have created a vast array of healthcare devices and accompanying applications—everything from monitoring your activity level to your heart rate to your weight and chronic medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes," says Federighi. "But up to now, the information gathered by those applications lives in silos. You can't get a single, comprehensive picture of your health situation. Now you can, with HealthKit."
Apple's strategy in bringing semblance and order to the cacophony of health apps now percolating throughout the consumer healthcare market is two-fold. An Apple app will monitor key metrics for its user, and integration efforts with leading third-party providers like Nike+ for personalized fitness goals and the Mayo Clinic for personalized medical care seek to centralize user data in a way that translates into diagnosis and action.
Remember the days when Microsoft would bake in a new piece of functionality to Windows and disrupt entire industries? Feels like old times. This also feels like good news for the steady advance of personalization as a major driver of health & wellness through the smart application of digital technology.