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

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited June 2014
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.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,752member
    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 ....
  • Reply 2 of 35
    timbittimbit Posts: 331member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 35
    revenantrevenant Posts: 621member
    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.

  • Reply 4 of 35
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    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.

  • Reply 5 of 35
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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,
  • Reply 6 of 35
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 35
    christopher126christopher126 Posts: 4,366member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 35
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    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.

  • Reply 9 of 35
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,752member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,043member
    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.

  • Reply 11 of 35
    msimpsonmsimpson Posts: 452member

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

  • Reply 12 of 35
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,043member
    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.

  • Reply 13 of 35
    jay-tjay-t Posts: 39member

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

  • Reply 14 of 35
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    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.

  • Reply 15 of 35
    leavingthebiggleavingthebigg Posts: 1,291member
    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! :-)))

  • Reply 16 of 35
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,043member
    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/

  • Reply 17 of 35
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,888member

    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?

  • Reply 18 of 35
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member

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

  • Reply 19 of 35
    blah64blah64 Posts: 993member
    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!).
  • Reply 20 of 35
    blah64blah64 Posts: 993member
    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.
Sign In or Register to comment.