A number of rumours are circulating that suggest Apple could make a big push into mobile health monitoring in the near future.
The still-in-no-way-confirmed Apple iWatch has long been rumoured to have a strong focus on fitness and health tracking. Now, two high-ranking Apple executives — senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams and vice president of software technology Budd Tribble — have met with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
According to a story in the New York Times, the topic of the meeting was "mobile medical applications".
Furthermore, 9to5Mac is reporting that the company is working on a health and fitness app for iOS 8. The app, currently codenamed Healthbook, is said to be able to track steps taken and calories burned, along with even more complex records, such as glucose levels and hydration.
The final piece in the puzzle comes from Macrumors, which says that Apple is making a number of new hires for roles in the health space. According to the site, Apple recently poached Michael O'Reilly from his post as chief medical officer at Masimo Corporation, a US medical technology company specialising in non-invasive patient monitoring.
If Apple does go ahead with an iWatch, incorporating fitness tracking is a no-brainer — it's a very desirable function for wearable tech. However, the M7 chip in the iPhone 5S allows for some rather sophisticated motion tracking, so even without an iWatch, something akin to the Healthbook app would make a great deal of sense for the company.
As always, Apple doesn't comment on rumour and speculation, but we'll be watching carefully over the next few months to see what Cupertino might be cooking up.