5 Things to Know About HealthKit

Earlier this month, Apple introduced HealthKit, a mobile health-tracking platform that will be included in iOS 8.

Here are five things to know about HealthKit.

1. The main function of the platform is to aggregate data from other apps and devices into an easy-to-read dashboard in a new app, simply called Health. "With your permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness," according to an Apple news release. "For example, the Nike+ apps using NikeFuel will be able to pull in other key HealthKit metrics such as sleep and nutrition to build a custom user profile and improve athletic performance."

2. Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic, which has reportedly been working with Apple for the past five years on HealthKit, will provide health information and content through the new platform. "We believe Apple's HealthKit will revolutionize how the health industry interacts with people," said John Noseworthy, MD, president and CEO of the Rochester, Minn.-based organization, in Apple's news release.

3. Apple also announced Epic as a partner on the new platform. Through the partnership, it is expected HealthKit will be able to interface and exchange data with Epic electronic health record systems.

4. HealthKit will most likely not be regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. On June 11, shortly after HealthKit was introduced, the FDA's list of mobile apps it does not plan to regulate was updated to include mobile platforms with many of HealthKit's main functionalities.

5. HealthKit is not the only mobile platform that aggregates app and sensor data. Google, WebMD and Samsung have all launched similar platforms recently, though Apple's partnership with Epic and Mayo Clinic set it apart from its competition.

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