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Mobile payments is also a natural progression for Apple. The company already lets hundreds of millions of users -- about 800 million, as of Apple's earnings in April-- buy music, books, and apps through an iTunes account linked to their credit cards. Expanding this payment process into a digital wallet is a feasible shift for the company. CEO Tim Cook says Apple Pay has been incredibly successful as the company prepares to add the capability to its new Apple Watch. Apple's new payment system, which will soon be available on the new Apple Watch, is on a tear, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

At its "Spring Forward" event Monday, the company said it has built new software called ResearchKit, which will bmw m iphone case help medical professionals build apps, Apple said it has already worked with groups at Oxford and Stanford, helping them build apps and technologies to assist with various kinds of research, "One of the biggest challenges researchers have is in recruiting," said Jeff Williams, head of operations at Apple, He said researchers have trouble getting consistent and regular data from participants..

One example Apple discussed was an app to assess if a patient has Parkinson's, listening to them talking, measuring their walking and looking for tremors when they touch the screen. Other partnerships include technology to assess asthma, breast cancer and other conditions. Apple promised that all the technology will respect user's privacy. The company said customers can choose which studies to participate in, and that Apple will not look at customer's data. The underlying code will also be available for free to other companies, Apple said.

The move is Apple's latest effort to build health technology into its devices, The iPhone already has a technology called HealthKit, designed to gather information such as steps walked and food eaten, in partnership with various app and sensor companies, Apple isn't alone, Health has become a big focus area for companies across the tech sector, Several have introduced health-centric gadgets, such as the Samsung Gear Fit and Jawbone Up24 , and countless others are working on smart glucose meters and similar products, Other companies see an opportunity to mine patient data or collect readings on individuals to predict when bmw m iphone case they'll get sick and to tailor treatment..

Apple archrival Samsung, for one, has made a big push in health with its mobile devices. Its Galaxy S5 smartphone and Gear Fit incorporate heart rate monitors and health-focused apps. In May, it also unveiled efforts to develop new sensors and a cloud-based platform for collecting health data. Apple unveiled HealthKit during its Worldwide Developer Conference in June. The software lets consumers track health-related data and serves as a hub for that information. It also includes a corresponding app named Health, which can be used with third-party fitness devices.

At the company's developer conference last year, Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, said many medical institutions have already signed on as partners, including the Mayo Clinic, bmw m iphone case Mayo has an integration with HealthKit that goes to work when patients do things like check their blood pressure rating, The software will automatically check to see if the rating is within the set parameters, and notify the hospital if it is not so doctors can check in with their patients more quickly, The hope for Apple is that HealthKit will enable a whole new generation of health apps..

The company went a step further with Apple Watch, positioning the device in part as a health and fitness device. It includes features such as activity trackers and vibrating reminders to stand up if you've been sitting too long. The device's Activity app gives you a view of your daily activity, including how many calories you've burned, how much exercise you've done and how often you've stood up to get a break from sitting. And the Workout app gives more detailed measurements and real-time stats such as time, distance, calories, pace and speed for certain workouts.

Cook kicked off the event with his company's retail stores, saying that Apple has opened six stores in China in six weeks and has 453 retail stores worldwide, Over 120 million customers visited bmw m iphone case Apple's retail stores in the fourth quarter, alone, He then turned his attention to hardware, revealing that Apple has sold 25 million Apple TV units and just recently sold its 700 millionth iPhone since that device's launch in 2007, Thanks in large part to the iPhone's success, Apple Pay, the company's mobile-payment platform, had expanded to over 2,500 banks, up from 6 banks when it launched, Apple Pay is available at over 700,000 locations worldwide, up from 200,000 when it launched late last year..