A News Health — 21 October 2014

Mayo Clinic AppRemember when fitness tracking was done by a watch-sized contraption clipped onto a waistband? It would count a step each time the thing bounced against your hip.

With Apple’s launch of its Health app on the latest version of iOS 8, there is a mushrooming growth of health apps that do a lot more than count steps.

The Apple Health app does not track things itself: It is an aggregator of data that come from other apps and devices. Some of the popular apps include, Jawbone UP, MyFitnessPal and Run.

As one of the world’s largest companies puts health in the palms of hundreds of millions of people’s hands, the fitness industry will surely gain.

The fitness and gym equipment industry has already seen growth since the recession.  According to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the number of gym memberships increased 20% between 2005 and 2012. Consumer fitness equipment sales have grown steadily too – increasing $400 million between 2009 and 2013 to a total of $3.58 billion.

DSC03043Fitness centers are popping up seemingly everywhere.

G&G Fitness, which is a leading fitness equipment retailer and commercial fitness designer, has designed over 500 fitness centers in local businesses. Its most recent gym design was for Mason Grand – a $45 million dollar real estate project that includes a 24-hour gym.

“The gym has everything you need to get a great workout in without the hassle of going to a large Gym,” according to G&G’s website. “These gyms are filled with treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, rowers, functional trainers, fitness flooring and much more.”

The Apple Health app is not only changing the fitness and gym industry, it stands to change the way healthcare is managed and delivered as we see it.

The Mayo Clinic has developed an app that works with Apple Health. It allows patients to view their Mayo Clinic data and Apple Health data together in order to discover insights into a patient’s own health.

“With this technology, we can be more accurate and more complete which means better outcomes and safer care,” said Dr. John H. Noseworthy, President and CEO, Mayo Clinic.

“The future is going to be amazing technology-wise,” said Mark Henderson, Division Chair, Information Technology, Mayo Clinic. “Mayo Clinic is just touching the surface of what’s possible. In terms of trying to be more efficient and providing the best care, the apps we’ve written have definitely given us a vision of where we can go in the future.”

It seems like yesterday when a bouncing pedometer was the most important health data point one could measure on their own. Now technology has seamlessly integrated all health data, which is driving people to more fitness-filled and healthy lives.

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Doug Lynch

Doug is a career communications professional and writer. He enjoys writing about technology (he holds 6 US Patents), politics and sports.

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