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Apple planning App Store-like health platform for connected medical devices - report

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Apple's decision to enter the "quantified self" race reportedly will not end with a so-called "iWatch," as the company is thought to be considering the creation of a centralized tracking platform for health and fitness devices similar to the iOS App Store.

iWatch concept


While wearable biometric devices are believed to be Apple's immediate interest, some suspect that a new platform is the company's longer-term play. "There's no doubt that Apple is sniffing around this area," health technology expert Ted Driscoll told Reuters.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has hired a number of biomedical sensor experts in recent months, moves that Rock Health executive Malay Gandhi told the publication are indicative of "a very specific play in the bio-sensing space." They include the fitness expert behind Nike's FuelBand, a healthcare privacy expert, and various scientists with expertise in non-invasive blood glucose monitoring and pulse oximetry.

Many of those hires are said to have joined the company with little idea of what they would ultimately be working on, a sign that Apple may be trying to build a health-focused unit more broad than previously anticipated.

"Some of the talent (Apple recruited) has access to deep wells of trade secrets and information," pulse oximetry firm Masimo's CEO Joe Kiani said, adding that Apple is "just buying people" with large compensation packages. Masimo's former research director is among those who have moved to Cupertino in recent months.

Apple already enables step-counting and other motion-related applications through its custom M7 coprocessor found in the A7 CPU that drives the iPhone 5s. But with this year's anticipated launch of iOS 8, Apple has been rumored to delve even further into the health and fitness market.

In particular, it's been said that a key feature of iOS 8 may be a so-called "Healthbook" application that would act as a central point for users to measure and track health-related data on their iPhone. This application might interface with a variety of wearable and connected devices that could track information such as weight, heart rate, blood pressure and more.
post #2 of 35
So Samsung, FaceBook, Microsoft, Twitter and Google don't have long to pre-emtivly launch their own before Apple. It must be hell out there ....
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #3 of 35
Many doctor's offices and hospitals use Macs for computing and inputting data. Having an App Store section with various third party device hookups could be a big sell.
post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

So Samsung, FaceBook, Microsoft, Twitter and Google don't have long to pre-emtivly launch their own before Apple. It must be hell out there ....

well, samsung can just copy it and make a few billion and pay a hundred million dollar fine.  

 

so... no sweat.  thanks, apple, for paving the road to easy money.

post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by revenant View Post
 

well, samsung can just copy it and make a few billion and pay a hundred million dollar fine.  

 

so... no sweat.  thanks, apple, for paving the road to easy money.

 

Innovators world wide should take notice and realize that nothing is protected anymore. Even billion dollar ideas can be stolen, and no appropriate punishment will ever be dished out.

post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

So Samsung, FaceBook, Microsoft, Twitter and Google don't have long to pre-emtivly launch their own before Apple. It must be hell out there ....
Just this morning on CNBC they were talking about Google and Amazon jumping into the home delivery service just because they have a lot of money and can afford to do so. It amazes me how much hate Apple gets when other companies are much more ruthless than they are. I keep waiting for the day it all comes back to bite them but Wall Street seems to be eating it up,
post #7 of 35
9to5Mac says:

Our sources are also saying that Apple has been exploring potential acquisitions of various medical device companies in recent months, including full-fledged medical product firms that are not smartphone/wearable device focused.
post #8 of 35
I remember a quote from Steve where he said something like, " in tech, u have to be 10 years ahead of the competition. Apple is 5 yrs ahead right now."

It's part of Apple's ethos, a measured, methodical approach to all facets of their business. Not just HW, SW and advertising, but environmental impacts, labor, etc., etc.
post #9 of 35
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post
I remember a quote from Steve where he said something like, " in tech, u have to be 10 years ahead of the competition. Apple is 5 yrs ahead right now."


How old is it, though, late ‘90s? Steve has said repeatedly that you can’t see more than five years ahead in the technology industry.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I remember a quote from Steve where he said something like, " in tech, u have to be 10 years ahead of the competition. Apple is 5 yrs ahead right now."

It's part of Apple's ethos, a measured, methodical approach to all facets of their business. Not just HW, SW and advertising, but environmental impacts, labor, etc., etc.

Taking of being years ahead, I wonder if Perlman's pCell technology has been discussed at Apple HQ? He was an Apple Scientist and father of the Quicktime codec after all.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

9to5Mac says:

Our sources are also saying that Apple has been exploring potential acquisitions of various medical device companies in recent months, including full-fledged medical product firms that are not smartphone/wearable device focused.

I would say that is a bad idea, medical device industry is loaded with landmines. Look at all the lawsuits medical companies deal with from people who would have been dead or extremely limited in what they could do who choose to sue because they had some sort of complication from a device or treatment they received. Personal performance monitoring is one things but medical and health devices is completely different.

 

I can see based on what Steve Jobs went through, him leaving a set of goals and roadmaps of product for health monitoring types of products.

post #12 of 35

More stuff where I will have to share my personal info in "the Cloud" ?     Sorry, not interested.  

post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 


How old is it, though, late ‘90s? Steve has said repeatedly that you can’t see more than five years ahead in the technology industry.

I am not sure Steve would have said that since Apple had a technology roadmap back in the early 80's which went out into the 2000's it was a 20 yr view technologies and products.  From what I remember of it and it has been over 10 yrs since I saw if, It was almost dead on, the products we saw come out in the 2000's was almost exactly what Steve and company predicted in the 80's actually happened.

 

I suspect that Steve left a similar 20 yr view. Steve seem to have a very good grasp on which technologies had value in the future and what kinds of things need to happen to see convergence to create new product types.

post #14 of 35

Quoting one of my favorite movies: “I (Apple) got vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals.” 

post #15 of 35
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post
I am not sure Steve would have said that

 

He explicitly said it at D5.

 
…it was a 20 yr view technologies and products.

 

Nope. You’re thinking of the OS X announcement (and/or the “death of Mac OS 9” announcement) where he stated that “OS X sets us up for desktop operating systems for the next 20 years” and nothing more as to where they were going.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Just this morning on CNBC they were talking about Google and Amazon jumping into the home delivery service just because they have a lot of money and can afford to do so. It amazes me how much hate Apple gets when other companies are much more ruthless than they are. I keep waiting for the day it all comes back to bite them but Wall Street seems to be eating it up,

As of 1:44 PM, the stock market has Google down by $3.47 per share and Amazon is up $0.29. Apple is up $5.19. This is quite unusual for the three stocks. When Google and/or Amazon make a crazy announcement, Apple's stock usually gets punished while the others get rewarded.

 

Hmmm... I remember Google and Amazon being punished this year after their earnings were announced while Apple was rewarded. Maybe, just maybe, Wall Street is seeing a slightly bit more clearly now.  Okay, I had to laugh about that! :-)))

post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

He explicitly said it at D5.

 

Nope. You’re thinking of the OS X announcement (and/or the “death of Mac OS 9” announcement) where he stated that “OS X sets us up for desktop operating systems for the next 20 years” and nothing more as to where they were going.

Actually I saw the actually presentation, once back in the 80's and then again in 2001, back in the 83/84 time frame Steve and Company put together a view of technology specially around computers, software, communications and media (print, music and Video) and it show what things look like in 1970, 1980, then showed what they believe it would look like in the 1990's, and then 2000's. It show how all the various technologies would be converging into a single device of sorts, they never said what it would look like just that a device would exist.

 

I suspect that Steve had another similar view showing 2010, 2020 and 2030 and it probably has the convergence of medical and personal health management into the above technologies. They could have seen other things converging as well.

 

This is not exactly is but is give you an idea what I am talking about

 

http://stevecheney.com/1980-steve-jobs-on-hardware-software-convergence/

post #18 of 35

You know those wrist bands that hospitals put on you when you check in for a procedure?  That will be one of Apple's entry points into an integrated health monitoring plus system that they want to be the de facto standard platform for the health care industry.  How many times does one have to repeat "It's the platform, stupid."

 

Oh, and considering Steve Jobs' intimate experience with all facets of the health care industry in the last years of his life, does anyone doubt that the seeds of this new major leg of the Apple product stool weren't sown by Steve himself?

post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post
 

As of 1:44 PM, the stock market has Google down by $3.47 per share and Amazon is up $0.29. Apple is up $5.19. This is quite unusual for the three stocks. When Google and/or Amazon make a crazy announcement, Apple's stock usually gets punished while the others get rewarded.

 

Hmmm... I remember Google and Amazon being punished this year after their earnings were announced while Apple was rewarded. Maybe, just maybe, Wall Street is seeing a slightly bit more clearly now.  Okay, I had to laugh about that! :-)))

 

Its called the GREAT ROTATION.

 

Wall street was rotating out of Apple and into Google since Sept 2012.

 

Now it looks like they are rotating out of Google and into Apple.  They love to do this since stocks can't go up forever, neither do they want stocks to go to zero.  So they just pump then dump and rotate into another stock.

 

Apple is 55% higher than its 2013 low

Google is 15% lower than its 2014 high

post #20 of 35

The real question will be: "How many fart apps will be allowed in this new store?"

Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

The real question will be: "How many fart apps will be allowed in this new store?"


Ha ha! Just wait, it will be better than that. Soon you'll be able to predict when you next fart is coming, and plan accordingly (whatever that may entail!).
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post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

More stuff where I will have to share my personal info in "the Cloud" ?     Sorry, not interested.



This is exactly right - especially with medical/health data. The real solution is to allow people to store this on their own computer at home. Unfortunately, I don't see Apple making that easy to do out-of-the-box.
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post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post
 

You know those wrist bands that hospitals put on you when you check in for a procedure?  That will be one of Apple's entry points into an integrated health monitoring plus system that they want to be the de facto standard platform for the health care industry.  How many times does one have to repeat "It's the platform, stupid."

 

Oh, and considering Steve Jobs' intimate experience with all facets of the health care industry in the last years of his life, does anyone doubt that the seeds of this new major leg of the Apple product stool weren't sown by Steve himself?

You might be on to something here. I have long suspected Apple quietly worked with Disney on the wristband used in Disney theme parks. Having patient vital information collected by the device then sent to a central hospital server in real-time would go a long way with aiding nurses and doctors with keeping updated with patients recovering in hospitals.

 

No matter how right or wrong the rumors are about Apple and healthcare, I am stoked that so many people are talking about Apple being the company that can change healthcare!

post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post
 

More stuff where I will have to share my personal info in "the Cloud" ?     Sorry, not interested.



This is exactly right - especially with medical/health data. The real solution is to allow people to store this on their own computer at home. Unfortunately, I don't see Apple making that easy to do out-of-the-box.

Why not? This is how iTunes works today. You can synch with your computer or with iCloud. You are given a choice. At the same time, every purchase through iTunes Store, iBook Store, App Store I make contains a reference in iCloud so that I do not accidentally purchase content multiple times.

post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

The real question will be: "How many fart apps will be allowed in this new store?"


Ha ha! Just wait, it will be better than that. Soon you'll be able to predict when you next fart is coming, and plan accordingly (whatever that may entail!).

Psh.
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post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

Why not? This is how iTunes works today. You can synch with your computer or with iCloud. You are given a choice. At the same time, every purchase through iTunes Store, iBook Store, App Store I make contains a reference in iCloud so that I do not accidentally purchase content multiple times.



Purchased songs can be sync'd from a computer to 5 devices, but what about email, contacts, calendar, etc.? Storing song purchases in the cloud is one thing, but the other stuff contains personal data, and any health-related hardware will contain very personal data. Personal enough that there are federal laws about how that data can and cannot be used.

Many people have concerns these days about the confidentiality of health-related data, even if they are over-sharing in other ways. I think any kind of health-related data that gets stored on Apple's (or any 3rd party) servers is going to make people stand up and take notice. Certainly there will be people that climb onboard because they'll jump on any damn new shiny gadgety thing. But I think there will be some very serious conversations nationwide about this, and that's a good thing.
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post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

Psh.


lol.

thanks for that. uh, kind of.
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post #28 of 35
I like it. But I bet it will just be the information hub for a whole new series of bathroom appliances for monitoring health. Rather than the fitness angle (obvious), I like the blood sugar, blood toxins, tissue metals, and other body composition measuring that may result. I always envisioned the 'Mayo Clinic lifestyle check-up' in a portable device (or set of devices) so that you know on a daily or weekly basis whether you are hurrying towards an early but prolonged and painful death -or- extended lifespan exuberance. Gaming your health and interfacing that with a database - now that's a whole new sector of gadgets Apple could market - even taking existing DNA sequencing to get your genome as a health risk starting point. This is what weight-watching should be - plug it in to you, daily, and plot your health trajectory.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

Why not? This is how iTunes works today. You can synch with your computer or with iCloud. You are given a choice. At the same time, every purchase through iTunes Store, iBook Store, App Store I make contains a reference in iCloud so that I do not accidentally purchase content multiple times.



Purchased songs can be sync'd from a computer to 5 devices, but what about email, contacts, calendar, etc.? Storing song purchases in the cloud is one thing, but the other stuff contains personal data, and any health-related hardware will contain very personal data. Personal enough that there are federal laws about how that data can and cannot be used.

Many people have concerns these days about the confidentiality of health-related data, even if they are over-sharing in other ways. I think any kind of health-related data that gets stored on Apple's (or any 3rd party) servers is going to make people stand up and take notice. Certainly there will be people that climb onboard because they'll jump on any damn new shiny gadgety thing. But I think there will be some very serious conversations nationwide about this, and that's a good thing.

Well if it makes them stand up and take notice, at least that's good for their health!

Re security considerations: by default, my trust for Apple's servers is a lot more than for 3rd party servers. And Google? Knowing how Google reads your email, how likely are you to trust your health data with them?
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post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbit View Post

Many doctor's offices and hospitals use Macs for computing and inputting data. Having an App Store section with various third party device hookups could be a big sell.

According to a recent article on this site, Apple has a very weak presence in the healthcare industry, This initiative by Apple could turn that statistic on its head...
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

According to a recent article on this site, Apple has a very weak presence in the healthcare industry, This initiative by Apple could turn that statistic on its head...

If Apple is in intensive care with regard to its presence in the healthcare industry, then that sounds like a good place to start. 😉
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post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

9to5Mac says:

Our sources are also saying that Apple has been exploring potential acquisitions of various medical device companies in recent months, including full-fledged medical product firms that are not smartphone/wearable device focused.

Apple may have made these acquisitions to obtain ownership of the sensor patents. Irregardless, if Apple wants to enter the health/medicine arena, they will need to be plugged into the info network of what's going on etc.

On another topic of privacy. I've read several posts about privacy when one's health data is in a cloud or where-ever... Many of you may not be aware that when you see a doctor or other healthcare provider for your first visit you signed away your medical privacy so that your insurance provider can have full access to everything in your medical file. Think about that for a moment.

It is ONLY whatever data you do not have your doctor's files that are really private to you. You might ask why would you want to keep some medical information separate from your doctor's files? As I stated above, whatever your doctor knows, your insurance provider knows. So, let's say you have your DNA analyzed to see if you inherited your family's heart failure gene, or if you have the gene for diabetes. If your have your doctor order this test, then he/she will know, but then so will your insurance company. So, even if you do not develop the disease, you are at a higher risk, and therefore will be charged by the insurance company as if you do have the disease. Now, with the Affordable Care Act, this may not be as bad a problem as before, and the Insurance company cannot drop you as they would before, but this knowledge could be passed on and affect the coverage your children can get or the cost of such coverage.

The Affordable Care Act stops a lot of the monkey business the insurance industry used to play on people, but if they can do an end-run on the government and gain some small edge, they most likely will do so, so until then info that may label a person as a "high-risk" — like DNA information, is best kept as private as possible.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

The real question will be: "How many fart apps will be allowed in this new store?"

The next question might be, "will this device be able to evaluate a fart for a person's GI tract health?" You may want to use it to find your best seat in an "open-seating" arena by pointing it at the rear ends of people already seated... Or to find who had just eaten a super-sized bean burrito before entering a room... Or, who is wearing clean underwear today... or other personal hormonal information information... nudge nudge...
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #34 of 35
On one hand, I would love to have an Apple watch that has health tracking capabilities. On the other hand, iTunes can't even seem to get my album cover art right. I'm not sure I trust it keeping track of my blood pressure, etc.

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post #35 of 35

Apple's competition can glean a bit of device info from rumors and turn out few devices that have some similarities to the hardware and maybe even some similarities to the software that Apple will eventually put out.  But this article/rumor makes me think Apple's strategy/ecosystem is (again) what the competition will be hard-pressed to truly understand, and therefore slower to copy.

 

The big picture is what the rumor-mill will be least informative on.  That's why Samsung's Galaxy Gear was more or less a small-thinking, non-strategic (other than the me-first factor) offering.  Which is probably why it flopped.

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