Apple has unveiled HealthKit, a platform to centralise data from different types of devices, like fitness trackers, heart rate and blood pressure monitors.

Launching iOS 8 for iPhones and iPads, which it describes as the biggest release since the launch of the App Store, Apple gave much prominence to HealthKit, which “gathers the information you choose from your various health apps and fitness devices, and provides you with a clear and current overview in one place”. The new operating system offers developers the ability for these apps “to communicate with each other”, the company said, and with  permission of the user, each app can use specific information from other apps “to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness”.

Apple gave the example of the Nike+ apps using NikeFuel which “will be able to pull in other key HealthKit metrics such as sleep and nutrition to build a custom user profile”. It has also teamed up with Mayo Clinic in a move which will see the world-famous medical group launch a new app in September offering its patients and consumers easy-access personalised health information, guidance and care when they need it. Mayo chief executive John Noseworthy said that “we believe Apple’s HealthKit will revolutionize how the health industry interacts with people”.

Apple is also collaborating with the electronic health records major Epic Systems so that HealthKit can be used by healthcare professionals to monitor specific patient data. Craig Federighi, Apple’s head of software engineering, said the scheme is giving developers “amazing new tools” to make managing health from devices “an integrated, simple and secure experience”.