Apple planning App Store-like health and fitness platform [Report]

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According to a new report, Apple will be looking to launch a App Store-like platform for medical and health related applications. It is said that this hub will be based off the App Store model with specific categories targeted appropriately.

This will help third party developers develop specific apps for the rumored iWatch, a smartwatch with a focus on fitness and health.

One mobile health executive, who asked not to be named, told Reuters he recently sat down with an Apple executive from the iWatch team. He said the company has aspirations beyond wearable devices, and is considering a full health and fitness services platform modeled on its apps store.

According to rumors, Apple is putting a huge emphasis on health and fitness with the iWatch, by adding an array of sensors to measure heart/pulse rate, oxygen levels, glucose levels, track sleep patterns etc. The multitude of sensors in the iWatch will feed data to a new iOS 8 app called Healthbook that will give users detailed summaries and stats related to their health and fitness.

App Store is one of the reasons, Apple’s iPhone and iPad have been so successful. So it would make sense to launch an App Store for iWatch, which allows third-party developers to develop medical and health related apps and lots more.

It has been rumored that Apple will partner with Nike to launch a fitness accessory. Nike recently made some cutbacks in the FuelBand division to possibly focus on a joint project with Apple. Last week, Nike CEO Mark Parker appeared on CNBC and spoke about the company’s relationship with Apple. Parker stopped short of confirming any iWatch tie-up, but did note that his company was excited about future relationship with Apple.

Apple has also recently hired Eric Winokur who is an MIT researcher with specialization in producing ear based accessories to track health vitals like blood pressure and heart rate, thus indicating that Apple could be working on something more than just an iWatch. A patent filing from the past has confirmed the company’s plans to launch a device like this, thus adding fuel to the rumors.

A mobile executive told Reuters that he recently sat down with an Apple executive from the iWatch team. He said the company has “aspirations beyond wearable devices, and is considering a full health and fitness services platform modeled on its app store.”

While previous rumors had suggested that the iWatch or a similar fitness accessory could be launched in June, it is now coming to light that Apple could unveil them along with the new iPhones in September this year.

[via Reuters]