- On Monday, tech giant Apple is expected to unveil HealthKit, a health-tracking app for mobile devices.
- The app tracks nutrition, fitness and weight by monitoring food intake, sleep cycle and hydration levels. It is expected to integrate with a smart watch, anticipated to debut this year.
- According to Jan Dawson, a telecom analyst for Jackdaw Research, Apple's entry into the health device space has the potential to "turn a niche into a mainstream proposition."
While Apple's entry into the consumer health market is not unprecedented — the app mimics other fitness trackers like Jawbone Up! and Nike's Fitbit — the sheer power of Apple as a consumer influencer make this a big deal. Wearable fitness trackers have been on the rise for a while (17 million are projected to ship this year) and are paving the way for the health care industry to explore new, mobile patient monitoring techniques. Case in point: the smartphone app that the Mayo Clinic found cut ED visits and hospital readmissions by 40% for cardiac rehab patients. The app tracked patients' blood pressure, dietary and sugar levels, physical activity and weight. Sound familiar?