Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Make the most out of HealthKit with these 5 apps

Leah Yamshon | Oct. 7, 2014
Now that HealthKit and its supported apps have hit the App Store, you're probably itching to try all of the apps and analyze as much health data as possible. But before you do that, think about the information that you really want to know every day.

apple health healthkit 580

Now that HealthKit and its supported apps have hit the App Store, you're probably itching to try all of the apps and analyze as much health data as possible. But before you do that, think about the information that you really want to know every day. 

With HealthKit, you can truly customize the health and data experience you want to have. That's why it's important to select your apps, devices, and Health app settings carefully, perhaps selecting apps that do one task well--one for tracking sleep, another for caloric intake, another for fitness, and a final app for general health--and then share that information freely with other HealthKit apps. And that's exactly what the apps listed here do. These five apps each bring something different to the table, delivering a well-balanced snapshot of your daily health routine.

Map My Run: Track your fitness and exercise
Because of the iPhone's advanced motion sensor--the M7 on the iPhone 5s and the M8 on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus--apps that specialize in fitness and exercise really benefit from HealthKit. These sensors are always tracking movement quietly in the background, and all the app has to do is read the number of steps recorded.

Running buffs will surely appreciate MapMyRun  (free), which records your running routes, distances traveled, and finish times. It also lets you set goals and establish a training schedule, which will help you keep on track if you're training for an event. If you connect MapMyRun to Apple's Health app, your runs will be added to Health's daily distance traveled tally, and other apps can analyze your runs in different ways.

MyFitnessPal: Calorie counter
Since we're far from a calorie-tracking wearable device, the best way to watch our calories is to manually log them.

MyFitnessPal (free) is a great app for tracking your meals. It has a huge database of common grocery store items that you can search for, and has tabs for saving info on foods you frequently like to eat, favorite meals, and recipes. You could also scan an item's barcode to log that item in your food diary.

Plus, if you grant Apple's Health app access to your food logged with MyFitnessPal, you can view your micronutrient breakdown within Health. You can also allow MyFitnessPal to read other info from Health, like the steps logged on your iPhone's M7 or M8 processor. The app converts your steps to calories burned, and includes that in your daily calorie-in versus calorie-out goal.

AskMD: Stay well
AskMD (free) is all about tracking your general health and wellness. You fill out your profile with your general stats (height, weight, age, etc), insurance and primary care physician details, and current medications, and then use the app to search for remedies to symptoms you've been having. If you have a health device that monitors blood pressure, AskMD can use that information and watch it in your profile, thanks to HealthKit. AskMD can also connect you to doctors in your health care network if your symptoms require professional care.

 

1  2  Next Page 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.