It’s not a secret that mobile industry rises exponentially. Healthcare app field also does not fall behind. Now we see that medical experts team up with software developers to create better conditions of providing healthcare both for patients and medical employees. Although, healthcare apps are not new at all, no one has still created an excellent brawl so, who knows, maybe it will be you - the bringer of a game-changing healthcare application?
And as always, we see a battle of two titans - Google and Apple. Apparently, these companies are some kind of trend-setters for everything related to IT and mobile apps particularly. So you can trace their solutions and, using their examples, make your own solution in healthcare application development.
So what do we have today? Apples’ fitness app framework that is focused on medical industry, and Google Fit that boasts its’ low entry level for third-party platforms. Let’s have a quick look on them.
From the beginning Google Fit has been creating as a software framework that will help developers and wearables manufacturers to register and show users data on their smartphone. But with the v1.55.44 release in 2015 it became a fully featured healthcare platform.
Since the launch of IOS 8, all Apple smart devices and IPhones have an inbuilt Health app that works with a HealthKit platform. Roughly speaking, HealthKit is an API that allows third-party developers to create devices and apps to cooperate with the Health app.
In order to answer the title question of this article, let’s decide how fitness app developers can augment these two platforms’ workflow.
If people can always get across with each other, applications are not so outgoing yet. It’s really hard for apps to cooperate without a standard way of doing so. Now we see an absence of standardized storage mechanism, formating, performance and sharing of healthcare data. So it’s both the problem and opportunity for developers. It’s true that the more steps it’s needed to perform an action, the more problems can occur on the way, that’s the problem. Making a product that will automatically synchronize with as many standards as possible is a good chance for the developer to make revenue.
HealthKit fractionally helps to solve the problem by providing a data pass between IOS devices. But the problem still exists when you try to share your health data on a Desktop PC, web apps or even Mac. Yeah, HealthKit works only on IOS devices.
Google Fit goes further. It provides a full data sharing between all your Android devices, desktop PC, an official web app and even IOS devices. The only thing you have to do is to login to your Google account. The clue of Google Fit, it provides sharing only a fitness data and gives no chance for medical information, such as blood pressure, temperature, glucose level and so on.
Times when there were special apps for everything have gone. Now people don’t want to download gigabytes of files to perform a simple action. Does every health wearable device needs its’ own application? Users prefer to see all their health data on one screen without switching it. This problem comes from the first one: to perform all data on one screen, all apps involved in collecting this data must use the same Standardized Data system. From 2012, this problem is partially solved with the launch of Bluetooth Low Energy standard.
Google offers users to connect their wireless devices that support Bluetooth LE with the phone via Android app. If the app is compatible with Google Fit, it's all over bar the shouting.
Apples’ offspring is more user-friendly in this situation. HealthKit allows BLE devices to connect straight to the operation system (from IOS 8). It’s an excellent thing for device manufacturers because they no longer need create their own applications.
Providing a standardized data storage mechanism Google Fit and HealthKit help encourage software creation and wearables manufacturing. Users don’t need to worry about their health data loss. And even though, these platforms are not ultimate, it’s up to developers to do the rest. There are third-party apps that allow people to share their health data collected with Google Fit and HealthKit. So there’s still a demand on such products that will work with these frameworks.
There is no actually an ultimate winner in Google Fit VS Apple HealthKit battle. Both platforms have their unique advantages as well as essential drawbacks. The first one is devoted to fitness, diet and nutrition with low entry barrier and advanced synchronization with all devices. The second is more dedicated to medical segment of healthcare that makes patients’ life as easy as it’s possible now.
So how can HealthKit and Google Fit help you to develop healthcare and fitness apps? Just try to annihilate or avoid all their disadvantages in your product or you can make your future software work well with these frameworks and augment it to create an excellent brawl.