Apple Tries To Redefine mHealth And The Watch

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | September 9, 2014

Apple is out with its latest, much-anticipated products, and taking a step into healthcare with a new iPhone-enabled watch. Will this be a big step forward for digital health, or just a grab of the high-end quantified-self market?  Those questions are bound to linger among the digital health community, as the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch make their way to consumers.

Already, Apple’s new watch and iPhone features may have some existing mobile healthcare companies worried.  The watch requires an iPhone as its wireless foundation, but aside from that it seems poised to offer an integrated health monitoring and tracking experience — with heart rate monitoring, step and elevation counting, calorie burning — along with all the other maps, music, social media and Internet browsing expected of a traditional smartphone.  “Apple Watch is the most personal device ever created,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said, predicting it “will redefine what people expect from a watch,”

Apple Watch comes with its own Fitness and Workout apps, which are bound to challenge other existing exercise apps, but the it will still accommodate third party apps — while collecting more data than existing wearables, company claims.  “Apple Watch is designed to help anyone who wears it lead a healthier life by being more active,” Jay Blahnik, Apple’s director of fitness and health technologies, an exercise consultant who worked on Nike’s digital health products, says in an online ad. The Watch “brings together the capabilities of an all day fitness tracker and a highly advanced sports watch in one device you can wear all the time,” he says...