Is GoogleFit’s goal to make doctor visits obsolete?
New health and fitness platform will compete with Apple HealthKit
Google is gearing up to race against Apple by unveiling GoogleFit, a health and fitness management platform, at its annual developers conference.
The new Google platform will give mobile apps the ability to better track health and fitness data, and even offer suggestions and recommendations to users. So far, up to a dozen apps and brands including Nike+, Adidas, HTC and Motorola are among the first to be working with the program, which will be available to all developers in the next few weeks.
Google executives say they designed the platform as a way to help users be more in tune with their own health and fitness data. However, Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Google Apps at Google, suggests that the technology could soon replace annual wellness visits. Pichai told Bloomberg Businessweek magazine that it’s “crazy” that people go to the doctor once a year to get blood pressure and heart rate monitored. “You obviously need to be able to measure these things so many more times and then apply more intelligence to it,” he says.
GoogleFit was one of several new platforms announced by the tech giant, including Android L, a new mobile platform, and systems for developing apps for wearable devices, televisions and cars.
Weeks earlier, Apple announced plans to expand its health platform, HealthKit, which will communicate user health and fitness data directly to some leading hospitals and electronic health records systems.
Google abandoned its previous attempt at developing personal health records in 2012, Google Health, due to the lack of widespread adoption and privacy concerns. The service collected information volunteered by the user including medications, allergies, health conditions and lab results.