Oops, sorry Apple: HealthKit might need a name change as it already exists

Looks like HealthKit, the software that runs Apple’s new health and fitness tracking app Health, might have had a last-minute name change – one they forgot to check isn’t already in use.

I guess it’s easily done. You know how it is when you’re preparing for a keynote presentation that’s attended by thousands of tech journalists and streamed all over the world. You’ve got a lot on your mind. You’re presenting a hotly-anticipated app that will provide a single place to store users’ health information: one that doctors will be able to access to improve patient care, one that developers can expand upon to potentially revolutionise the future of medicine.

With all that happening, who has time to think of a name and check no one else is using it? Well, not anyone from Apple, apparently. Which is unfortunate, as there’s already an Australian-based start-up called HealthKit. Its founders bought the domain back in 2012 and have the Twitter handle, too.

The company provides software for practitioners to manage patient information, and for patients to track their health online. And although imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery, the original HealthKit isn’t feeling the love.

They’ve tweeted their annoyance a few times, and a post on their blog says: “HealthKit is already in use, by us! Even the way they write it is the same as us. I’m flattered that they like our name so much and that it’s a ringing endorsement for our market opportunity (which we already knew). However, as an Apple fan, I feel let down.”

It’s surprising that Apple didn’t check the name and website wasn’t already in use. As Wired points out, the product was expected to be called HealthBook, and Apple usually trademarks a range of names in advance (I think we all remember the year we thought we’d be asking for an iSlate for Christmas). I guess this confusion proves something I’ve long suspected: there’s nothing wrong with a little spontaneity, but it’s often worth Googling first.

Diane Shipley