Tracking health and fitness on your smartphone is big business these days with numerous companies developing trackers and apps to help you stay on top.
The explosion of interest in this market was further highlighted by both Apple and Google earlier this year, as they revealed health related integration in their iOS 8 and Android L mobile platforms.
Apple has advanced the technology the furthest with its HealthKit API for developers and Health app, which aims to gather information from a variety of sources and compile them in one place to give you a full report on your health.
It's even got a number of hospitals onboard in America, opening the door to the data being used by healthcare professionals to aid treatment.
This may sound great, but it's not ready to take our hospitals by storm just yet, as Dr Dushan Gunasekera - founder of the myHealthCare clinic in London - explains.
The first stepping stone
"The technology in its current form is not a complete solution, this is a stepping stone towards a future where we'll be able to use wearables and smartphones to aid medical examinations and diagnoses," says Gunasekera.
"It's an exciting step in technology and it's one that I welcome and I believe a lot of other doctors will too."
At this early stage in the cycle of mobile healthcare the data which is being collected is difficult to verify as accurate and that's one of the biggest obstacles manufacturers will have to overcome.
"The benefits of Apple health [and rival offerings] are dependent on the quality of data," Gunasekera tells us.
There's pressure on device manufacturers to ensure their systems are monitoring our bodies as accurately as possible.
We're seeing technology, including heart rate monitors and pedometers being built into our smartphones and smartwatches, and while these paint a relatively good picture their accuracy is still some way off medical standards.
Take it seriously
"We need third-party manufacturers to produce consumer solutions of current medical equipment, allowing patient's to monitor a variety of health data in an easy and unobtrusive manner," Gunasekera explains.
"When devices which can gather data to a medical standard are readily available to consumers, the data on our smartphones can be taken more seriously by medical professionals and it can be used to accompany diagnoses."
Dr Gunasekera does see some immediate benefit from the systems Google and Apple are touting with their new operating systems.
"The Medical ID page in iOS 8 is mostly beneficial for paramedics in an emergency, when you're abroad or if you require the data quickly."
On an iPhone running iOS 8 there will be a medical info button on the lockscreen, allowing emergency services to get a brief overview of your medical history, highlighting any possible complications.
Benefits, issues and the future
There are some clear benefits for both doctors and patients if the data collected by our mobile devices, and associated connected devices, can be relied on.
"Where Apple Health is heading is good for life-threatening events. For example, users can hook themselves up to a monitor to keep an eye on data for preventative reasons," says Gunasekera.
"With a wide variety of health details stored on your smartphone, including blood pressure, oxygen levels, glucose levels and heart rate, patients could well see consultation times reduced by at least three to four minutes."
Fewer questions, faster appointments
"Doctors won't have to ask the general questions they ask every time, allowing them to get to the root of the issues quicker," he continued. "Patients could be seen more quickly and wait times will also take a tumble."
After several weeks, months and years of patient tracking, doctors will be able to view a detailed history of a patient's vital statistics. Patterns can then be tracked and monitored, and thus it will help treat the patient more efficiently.
"With a potential reduction in consultation time, practitioners could open up more appointment slots in a day, allowing more patients to be seen and allowing for a greater flexibility in surgeries, hospitals and clinics."
Home monitoring isn't without its risks, though. "A balance needs to be struck between unnecessarily worrying patients [as a result of data readings that could be interpreted unfavourably] versus the benefits conferred to the patient's health professional," says Gunasekera.
"Not all patients will be receptive to the idea of having their medical details recorded 24 hours a day, and there will be concerns over the security of the information."
Integration with appointment apps such as Zesty - which aims to find patients an doctors appointment last minute - could see data easily transferred between practitioners.
"All medical records are now kept in software devices. While it might be beneficial for patients to have their own medical records on their devices, data protection might be a hurdle.
"Having your medical records stored on your mobile device is something that would help Zesty and similar solutions, if you're seeing a GP who isn't your regular doctor."
Into the future
Looking further into the future, and chips embedded beneath your skin reporting vital data wirelessly to your phone isn't quite as hare-brained a concept as it may seem.
"Some of this may sound space age, but we're nearing the point where we'll have implants which will automatically beam information on our bodies to a device (or smartphone). There's already an implant for diabetics that can transmit blood glucose levels to a monitor, allowing suffers to better manage their insulin intake and diet.
"Another example would be for pacemakers to automatically report any irregular heart activity direct to a smartphone or patient's GP, and the GP can decide whether they need to see the patient or monitor activity further."
Sound good? Asking where you can sign up? Hold your horses. This is still very much the beginning of what will be a long road, but the early signs are positive and in the future, going to the doctor could be a lot less stressful.
Gunasekera sums it up: "The offerings from Apple in iOS 8 and Google in Android L in their current forms are the first step in bringing medical monitoring to the consumer market.
"There is still a way to go before the information can be properly used by doctors, and even longer before this information can be properly relied on. It's unlikely to be genuinely useful in the next two to three years."