Friday, October 10, 2014

iOS 8’s Health App

Chuq Von Rospach:

The first thing I really like: it implements an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact area on the phone available even if you’ve put in a PIN lock. […] Everyone should set this up. You do so by firing up the Health app and going into the Medical ID area.


The first problem is the app has no way to back up data — I’ve already heard of someone who reset and restored a device and lost the data collected. There’s no way to export the data, there’s no way for me to import my existing data — and I have years of it accumulated. There’s no web version on iCloud so there’s no way I can look at or share the data, and it doesn’t sync the data to the cloud. The app isn’t available on the iPad, either, so the data can’t be views/manipulated there.

In other words, it’s a write-only data hole, and if you have to restore your device or lose it, the data’s gone. So using this “in production” is a non-starter. The app has a feel of a working demo, not a final app.


There is no way for a woman to track her period, and there’s no capability for fertility monitoring.


There is no “notes” section. One thing I do in my spreadsheet is keep notes about various things that happen on specific days, like when I change dosage on a prescription or switch drugs. I can go back three years and see what I was taking and what dosages. there’s no way to do that in this app. I also keep key events documented that give context to the readings at that time, like “Norovirus” or “Visited the Emergency room”. To me, unless I can annotate notes onto a given day, this app is a lot less useful than it could be.

I was surprised that it doesn’t track blood cholesterol (LDL and HDL) or triglycerides. I presume that there will be third-party apps to export and import the data.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

It supports blood glucose levels, but not the amount of insulin taken.

My thinking is that Health is just a way to see the data that you're passing into and out of it. HealthKit, on the whole, is more of a conduit for other apps to pass along data and information to each other.

Saying that, the Health app is pretty terrible at viewing the data it collects. For example, the step counter is awful and the data view options are far too limited.

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