Timeline: Health tracking devices and the road to Apple’s HealthKit

By: Aditi Pai | Jun 3, 2014        

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HealthKitYesterday, Apple announced its rumored health data aggregation platform, called HealthKit and a companion app called Health, at the company’s annual World Wide Developer’s Conference. The app will integrate with a variety of health and wellness apps currently on the market so that users can put all their data in one place. According to Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, this kind of integration can provide users with “a single comprehensive picture of your health situation.”

Apple has come a long way since its 2009 WWDC event when the company announced the iPhone could connect with medical devices, but so have other digital health startups and companies. The picture of patient generated health data has evolved significantly over the last five years. Along the way, accelerators were born that are dedicated specifically to digital health, the FDA published its final guidance on the regulation of mobile medical apps, and some larger companies including Intel and Facebook have acquired digital health startups.

MobiHealthNews has compiled a timeline of important events in the history of patient generated health data with a specific focus on the dedicated health devices that have made headlines over the years. 

February 6, 2009: iTMP announces the launch of its SM Heart Link device, a “wireless bridge for biometrics” that connects off-the-shelf fitness sensors like heart rate straps to a user’s iPhone. The device launches with a $155 pricepoint.  Read More

March 17, 2009: At Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, just before showing off a connected blood pressure monitor, Scott Forstall, SVP of iPhone Software at Apple gushes: ”Now here’s a class [of services] that we think will be really interesting: medical devices.” Forstall explained that the new iPhone OS will allow application developers to sync medical devices like BP monitors via both Bluetooth and USB. “So imagine the possibilities,” Forstall continues. “We think this is profound.” An exec from Johnson & Johnson company LifeScan then shows off a prototype of a blood glucose meter that connects to the iPhone to feed data into a companion app. Read More

April 2, 2009: David Van Sickle, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar in the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reveals that he is developing a GPS add-on for asthmatics’ inhalers to map where and when environmental exposures cause asthma symptoms. The venture soon takes on the name Asthmapolis. Read More

April 8, 2009: CellScope, in its earliest stages at UC Berkeley as a smartphone-enabled microscope with remote diagnosis potential, wins a Vodafone Americas Foundation award. Read More

July 16, 2009: Entra Health Systems announces its MyGlucoHealth Clinical Point-of-Care System, which is a clinic-based diabetic testing for in-patient care environments. The offering includes a cloud-based interface called Clinical Point-of-Care that works with the MyGlucoHealth meter to upload blood glucose tests and data through Bluetooth or USB to tablet computer, PC or compatible PDA device. Read More

September 30, 2009: French technology company Withings announces the US availability of its WiFi Body Scale that automatically records the user’s body weight, lean and fat mass, and calculated body mass index (BMI) to his/her secure webpage and/or free Withings iPhone application, WiScale. Read More

December 30, 2009: Australian mobile operator Telstra inks a deal with Entra to bring its smartphone-enabled diabetes system to that country. Read More


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