We spoke about the social/mobile health trend in class a few weeks ago and just last week Apple announced an addition to it’s incoming iOS 8 roll-out in the Fall of 2014, a new software platform “Healthkit” which aims to consolidate all your personal health data into one spot. This is Apple’s play to tap into the estimate that wearable tech will grow to $18B by 2016. The potential is there but will it catch on or will Healthkit and Apple’s app “Health” become another one of those dormant apps that you can’t delete off of your phone so you either 1) hide it on screen three of your phone or 2) place it in a folder that you never use or 3) both?
It seems Apple is teetering on the line of wearable tech/fitness and actual, no kidding, health care and personal health information. While both fitness and health may fit nicely into one folder on your phone, the privacy distinction and user willingness to give up certain information is blatant. More details are surely to come of these new programs but the idea is that the user will have the ability to adjust privacy settings on each of their health/fitness apps which will in turn allow Healthkit access to that information. I understand Social/Mobile is breaking down previous privacy norms but it will be interesting to see how far this new platform and application goes. How many users will jump on board? Will most be health and fitness freaks, logging each and every workout, meal, and glass of water drank on their phone? What hospitals, healthcare providers, fitness centers, etc. will be in?
From a marketing perspective, while I think it’s cool that I could finish a 3 mile run with my GPS watch on, walk into a Walgreens, and be offered a discount on Gatorade for my “accomplishment,” I don’t necessarily want to be walking into the Walgreens and publicly be offered a discount on some foot fungus remover or worse, based on my recent phone Safari searches.