Apple's HealthKit Will Track Reproductive Health in iOS 9

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Apple's HealthKit Will Track Reproductive Health in iOS 9

Last year's WWDC saw the introduction of HealthKit platform on all devices running iOS 8. HealthKit is a comprehensive health and fitness framework for first and third-party apps, while the in-house Health app allows users to track their weight, steps, and blood glucose levels. On Monday, at this year's WWDC keynote address, Apple announced a few new metrics to track UV exposure, how often you're seated, how often you drink water, and most importantly, reproductive health.

(Also see: WWDC 2015: Apple Unveils iOS 9, Apple Music, Native Watch Apps, OS X El Capitan)

What this essentially means is that using the Health app powered by the new HealthKit framework women can now track their menstrual cycle. However, Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, in a blink and you'll miss it announcement, just glazed over the information without furnishing any more details beyond the fact that HealthKit can now track reproductive health. From the screenshots visible during the announcement however, a user spotted the app can tracks the menstrual cycle in terms of period frequency.

What remains uncertain is if HealthKit can gather information and send notifications about say an upcoming period, or, if it will be able to provide information about cramps or fertility. In other words, at the moment, we don't know how Apple plans to track reproductive health information in totality.

The App Store already has third-party menstruation-related apps. Molly Mchugh from Wired notes that even fitness bands like Fitbit, Fuelband, and MyFitnessPal do not have a solution in place for this, and that they are ignoring a huge market.

Apple unveiled iOS 9 at WWDC on Monday with improved search, enhanced Siri, and other new features including true multi-tasking on the iPad, which will now be able to display two apps side-by-side.


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Further reading: Apple, Apps, HealthKit, WWDC, WWDC 2015, iOS 9, iPhone
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