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No Need for Companion Apps – Apple’s HealthKit Natively Supports Some Bluetooth Accessories

No Need for Companion Apps – Apple’s HealthKit Natively Supports Some Bluetooth Accessories

Apple’s new HealthKit platform, and the accompanying Health app in iOS 8 will not only store and share health data from third-party apps, HealthKit will also automatically connect to and control some Bluetooth accessories, allowing accessory manufacturers to skip developing a companion app for their product.



The accessories that will be built-in and supported natively by HealthKit include heart rate and blood pressure monitors, glucose sensors, and health thermometers. Apple is using official standard specs for Bluetooth LE devices from Bluetooth.org, which is what allows iOS 8 to automatically establish a connection with the devices listed above without the manufacturers worrying about anything on the software side. 

HealthKit will also handle data collection, saving it to the Health apps, and notifying other apps that might want to use the data via the HealthKit API.

Manufacturers would previously spend resources to develop companion apps for their products for the collection of data, while app developers won’t have to handle pairing with devices and data collection. All of this will be handled via HealthKit.

Apple also will encourage manufacturers to build accessories that aren’t natively supported by HealthKit, but those will require an iOS app using the HealthKit API.

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