Google plans rival to Apple's HealthKit


Google plans to launch a health platform called Google Fit that will aggregate data from fitness-tracking devices and health-related apps, Forbes reports, citing multiple sources familiar with Google's plans.

The article calls the platform a direct competitor to Apple's HealthKit and Samsung's Sami biometric platforms. Google plans to launch it at the Google I/O conference for developers later this month. One source told Forbes that data from fitness devices could interface with Google's cloud services. It also could tie in with Android Wear, a version of Google's Android mobile operating system for wearable devices and smart watches.

So far, Google's keeping its plans for the I/O conference close to the vest.

The company's previous foray into creating a health portal, called Google Health, shut down in 2012. Derek Newell, CEO of digital healthcare platform Jiff, told Forbes that project failed because consumers don't want their data aggregated--they want meaningful information and feedback.

Privacy concerns have been a major roadblock to such services for the major tech players, according to the article. Indeed, privacy advocate Deborah Peel has called the lack of protections with self-tracking devices and apps "a privacy nightmare."

Critics already have raised these issues with HealthKit, along with concerns about its medical accuracy.

The platforms also raise the prospect that third-party developers could build on the information collected. "There's lots of little players, and no data standards," Newell told Forbes.

To learn more:
- read the Forbes article

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