Apple Watch: All Hype Or Some Hope For Healthcare?

Eric Wicklund | mHealth News | September 10, 2014

Apple unveiled its eagerly-anticipated Watch on Tuesday and some mHealth experts are already saying it is just another smartwatch — albeit one with tremendous potential to legitimize the market.  Calling it "the most personal device we've ever created," Apple CEO Tim Cook explained that it is a combination health and fitness tracker, walkie-talkie and Apple TV remote. "Because you wear it, we invented new intimate ways to connect and communicate directly from your wrist.”

Whether that degree of innovation will appeal to healthcare providers remains to be seen.  "There's no question that healthcare organizations will take advantage of the Apple Watch's advanced health tracking and monitoring capabilities, especially with that data available to third party apps that both providers and payers are likely to build," said Ryan Kalember, chief product officer at WatchDox.  Not everyone is enamored with the smartwatch phenomenon. Greg Carissi, Frost & Sullivan's senior vice president of health and life sciences, said smartwatches won't solve the underlying problems facing healthcare these days.

"While the industry will be talking, writing and forecasting the impact of Apple's upcoming iWatch release, the reality is the iWatch won't move the needle on lowering healthcare costs in the U.S.," Carissi said. "Why not?  There are challenges to address in leveraging the growth in mobile health technology and applications to deliver on the promise of a real change in health outcomes and costs in the U.S.”...