Our hearts have been racing to see what Apple will do with the personal health-focused, all activity knowing Health app in their upcoming update of iOS, but it looks like someone’s beating them to it. Months before you’ll be able to download iOS 8 to your phone (that is, after you file all of those selfies in the cloud) WebMD is launching an update to their app that could make you go to them for more than just fact checking that weird rash.
Similar to what’s planned for Apple’s Health, the new WebMD app wants to be your one-stop shop for all things health with their new section: “Healthy Target.” It will pull in all of the data from the different wearables you’re running with, the glucometer tracking your blood sugar levels, the Bluetooth-connected scale you’re stepping on in the AM and can even turn your iPhone 5s into a pedometer. Use it to set goals like “Lose Weight,” “Be More Active” and Sleep Better” and the app will work with you to recommend new, healthy, easy to pick up habits that could help you reach them.
Data about your vitals and progress in reaching your goals will show up in whatever form you want them to: daily, weekly, monthly, chart, graph etc on an interactive calendar that showcases stats along with WebMD articles on your reading list. The biggest thing this app won’t do that Apple swears it will is play nice with your other fitness apps. So if you’re training for that 5K with RunKeeper, you’ll have to go back and forth with the data there.
They may not have a special partnership with the Mayo clinic, but WebMD still showcases standby healthcare features favored in app form in their Health Tools section. There’s a way to find the nearest doctor, hospital or pharmacy along with the tried, maybe not exactly tested symptom checker.
Unlike what Apple has planned, WebMD is still a content provider, which they’re making sure you remember with a new “Healthy Living” section. This turns the app into a health-focused Pocket — an interactive, custom magazine that knows just the articles, quizzes and facts you want at-hand to reach your Healthy Target goals.
For better or for worse, the update could give the health site a bit more actual health cred. Connecting WebMD’s app (available to download now for iPhone) more to you and what’s going on with your body could mean a better diagnosis for your Google-induced health paranoia.
What do you think: Is Apple’s HealthKit worth the wait or will you try WebMD?