Rumor: Apple’s plans are to turn HealthKit into a diagnostic, as well as info-gathering, tool

So far Apple’s HealthKit has mostly collected fitness data from its devices, however, in the future, the software may interpret that information, turning it into advice for users, doctors and others, according to Bloomberg.

“Scores” of health-care experts hired by Apple in recent years are building improved electronic health record software that can better analyze and understand the implications of patient data, the article adds, quoting unnamed “people familiar with the team’s plans.” The ultimate goal is to turn HealthKit into a tool that improves diagnoses, they added.

“The system could chip away at two problems that plague the industry and have stumped other specialist firms in the field: interoperability -- allowing data to be transferred from hospital to hospital across different databases; and analysis -- making it quick and easy for physicians to extrapolate salient information from mountains of data,” according to Bloomberg.

Apple’s Health app on iOS devices gathers the information you choose from your various health apps and fitness devices, and provides you with a current overview in one place. It offers developers the ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other. With your permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness. For example, the Nike+ apps using NikeFuel will be able to pull in other key Healthmetrics such as sleep and nutrition to build a custom user profile and improve athletic performance.

HealthKit is the accompanying developer application programming interface (API) included in the iOS SDK (Software Development Kit) for the Mac. It is used by software developers to design applications that have extensibility and that can interact with the Health application on iOS.

In the past few years, Apple has recruited a team of medical experts to help guide its strategy as it moves into health care. Its team currently includes, among others: Rajiv Kumar, a doctor who specializes in treating kids with diabetes; Divya Nag, a former biotech entrepreneur; and Mike O'Reilly, an anesthesiologist who runs the ResearchKit platform.

Chances that the rumor is true IMHO (99%): It’s the next logical step for Apple to take.