Tuesday, June 03, 2014, 12:00 pm PT (03:00 pm ET)
iOS 8 first look video: Apple's Health app and emergency Medical IDOne of the biggest new additions in iOS 8 is "Health," a new application that will serve as a central place for users to track and organize all of their health-related data. With it comes a new Medical ID that could help first responders make life saving decisions in the event of a medical emergency.
As seen in the video above, the Health app currently in the iOS 8 beta is divided into four sections: Dashboard, with overall metrics that will be presented as cards; My Health, where users can enter in data points manually; Medical ID, which allows users to enter information that might be needed in case of an emergency; and Sources, where apps can be granted access and compatible devices can be paired with an iPhone to automate the collection of some data.
The Health app is obviously basic in the first iOS 8 beta, as developers must now build apps and devices using the HealthKit application programming interface.
Update: In its current pre-release state, there is no way to view the Medical ID from the lock screen if the user does not have a passcode enabled, meaning a first responder would need to know to unlock the device and search for the Health app. If passcode is enabled, users can access the emergency call screen and tap the link to Medical ID in the bottom left corner of the screen.
Partners named by Apple include Nike, Fitbit, Wahoo Fitness, iHealth, and Withings.
Apple has also revealed it is working with the Mayo Clinic on an app with thresholds for patients' personalized healthcare parameters, allowing the hospital to be proactively contacted if certain data is at dangerous levels. And Epic Systems, which provides software for hospitals, has also begun developing integration with HealthKit.
iOS 8 is currently in beta for developer testing. It is expected to launch on iPhone and iPad this fall. AppleInsider will have continuing coverage of the iOS 8 beta test period throughout the summer.
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