In this stress induced corporate world, our bodies are as exerted as our mind. Sitting on the chair for hours, staring at the computer screen would earn us some money but it sure won’t keep us healthy. In today’s world, we all know that a balanced life is a healthy life. Social media has played a huge role in making people realise the benefits of exercising, giving them convenient options to workout at home and valuable diet tips that help you stay fit. This has also led to a digital fitness revolution in the app industry. There are several apps in the store that allow you to keep a track of your daily calorie intake, tell you how many steps you’ve taken each day and also store medical health information.
Since wearable technology is the next IT thing, software developers and healthcare professionals are ensuring that every person is able to track their health in the most convenient way possible. Apple and Google are both front runners for coming up with their own solutions to accumulate health and fitness data. Apple introduced HealthKit and Google introduced Google Fit. Each of them has their own strong points in their own segment of services. Let’s understand what each of these platforms has to offer.
When launched, the Google Fit software was designed to log health-care information. Not much coding was done to build the app. As the new trend of wearable technology emerged in the markets, Google Fit has developed to become a mobile app that records any health-related activity which is triggered off when the person is walking, riding a bicycle or exercising. With the user’s consent, the app stores all the fitness data of the user in Google Fit.
HealthKit, developed by Apple is a toolkit that accumulates all the data linked with your health with the help of activity trackers synchronized with the standard health application (which is a default program for modern iOS devices).
Differences and Similarities between Google Fit and HealthKit
Now, let’s understand the key difference between both these platforms – Google Fit focuses on standard fitness indicators whereas, HealthKit is more about health issues. The iOS platform offers a more comprehensive and detailed approach to analyzing data whereas, Google offers a more flexible set of tools.
Collection of Data
Both these apps collect fitness data but Apple can collect a bigger amount of data than Google. Let’s take a look at the kind of user data collected by both of them:
Activity: The physical activity of the user; the number of steps taken, the time the user has taken for mindfulness practice, etc.
Sleep: It also records sleep data (the iPhone goes in sleep mode and from third party fitness apps)
Nutrition: It can also track the number of calories consumed by combining data of third party food control applications and selected healthcare platforms.
Google Fit also collects similar information as the Health app but it cannot pass medical information between apps. Hence, it isn’t suitable for medical purposes. HealthKit can record medical data such as heartbeat rate and body statistics. It can also store lab results, medications (prescription alerts and notes) and vitals (pulse, blood pressure and body temperature).
All of the data for Google Fit is recorded in Cloud and HealthKit records all its data on iCloud.
Both Apple and Google made sure that they have simple and easy to use interfaces. They are well thought of and structured but there is a major difference between the both of them.
The Health app allows the user to compare data without activating multiple screens at a time. Users can view all the data on one screen based on a few parameters set. The system prompts which devices and fitness apps for iPhone can interact with HealthKit.
On the other hand, Google Fit doesn’t allow the user to view the data on one single screen which leads him/her to keep swiping between screens to compare or view the data. But instead a customizable widget allows the user to transfer all the information to the desktop of the smartphone. Google Fit also uses graphics and cards to make the application work even clearer.
Imagine what a nightmare it would be for the user if he/she lost all their health data! One of the most important things for platforms like Google Fit and HealthKit is to safeguard all the technical data stored on the app. It requires a serious level of in-built protection. Privacy of data is another aspect of security.
Google Fit has mentioned in its Terms of Service that the data stored in the app is not a medical device and hence, it does not require additional security measures that are essential for medical apps and wearables.
On the other hand, HealthKit has well-designed security features. One of the major benefits is that it only works on iPhones which have security features such as finger print or face recognition which means that the data can only be accessed by the user.
How can the HealthKit and Google Fit platforms be used for medical and fitness app development?
The established health ecosystem is changing with the introduction of the Google it and Apple HealthKit platform. Both these platforms have similar functions in the general sense but there is a still a difference between the type of data that is recorded by each of them. The main expectation is that the user should be able to store their data in standardized format and also be able to share health data from different apps. HealthKit helps the user collate all of this data in the app. Google Fit can help the user integrate the user’s activity tracker app with the Google Fitness API (the native API for Android or the REST API for building a web client) to enjoy the benefits.
Points to Remember
A few things to remember to create a good user experience are: