Apple scrapped advanced Apple Watch health monitoring features due to reliability issues

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 86
    19831983 Posts: 1,185member

    Its a shame they had all that difficulty with the various health related sensors. If they hadn't the Apple Watch could've of been something very special indeed. As it is, its very nice, probably the best of the current generation of smart watches. But not the really unique or must have product it could've been. None the less I'm quite sure it'll sell in much higher numbers than its competitors products. 

  • Reply 22 of 86
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 1983 View Post

     

    Its a shame they had all that difficulty with the various health related sensors. If they hadn't the Apple Watch could've of been something very special indeed. As it is, its very nice, probably the best of the current generation of smart watches. But not the really unique or must have product it could've been. None the less I'm quite sure it'll sell in much higher numbers than its competitors products. 


    If it sells in significant numbers, it'll be due to fashion & apps. And I don't mean that in a negative either.

  • Reply 23 of 86
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

     

    I need the watch to also have the ability to plug in a probe so that I can get an accurate ph level reading for my outdoor plants.




    I suggest you duct tape or superglue a [waterproof] watch onto your existing pH meter. :-)

  • Reply 24 of 86
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Jony Ive said this was the most difficult project he's ever worked on at Apple so this news isn't surprising.

    9to5Mac decided to go with this clickbait headline: WSJ: Apple struggled to find purpose for Apple Watch after many planned health features were cut

    Of course the WSJ story does not say that. What I find so amusing with the responses to this story is when the device was announced I don't remember many, if any, wondering where all these sensors were. Sure there were complaints about battery life and no GPS but I don't remember much discussion of these advanced sensors at all. I remember seeing one rumor that claimed the device would come with 10 sensors and most people dismissed it as not being possible, especially anything that might require FDA approval. Now everyone is aghast because the device might launch without these advanced sensors?

    Apple's hires in the medical and fitness fields happened in earnest in 2013. I find it highly improbable that in less than a year they would be able to deliver on some very complex stuff, stuff that is very important to get right. Should Apple have waited to release ?Watch until thaf stuff was ready? Maybe. But then Android Wear would be on its 3rd or 4th generation and Apple would definitely be behind in terms of developer support. If companies waited until producfs were perfect to release them nothing would ever be released.
  • Reply 25 of 86
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post







    This news certainly solves the puzzle of the missing killer feature. Even then, a medical-grade health device would still have only been a niche market.

     

    Funky Business Forever by Ridderstråle and Nordström advises focusing on exactly this, though. High profit, long-term niche markets.

  • Reply 26 of 86
    paxman wrote: »
    A very very big niche. One that would (will) grow year over year with the development of better tech and associated services, and importantly, buy-in from the medical profession.

    Enough health functions and even I might have considered the Apple Wrist Computer.

    Interestingly enough a number of medical groups HAVE bought into the ?watch. Maybe Apple has much more built into the ?watch than they can speak about to the non-medical public due to FDA rules. While its capability may get out, Apple can not use the medical functions to promote the watch to the general public.

    While the watch may not be water resistant, the back of the watch seems to be sealed from sweat (it uses light to detect the heart beat), so it may prove to be more robust then Apple is willing to claim going out the gate...or more announcements will come out when the ?watch is released. Apple is prone to hold some things back.
  • Reply 27 of 86
    FDA medical device standards are incredibly difficult to get past for any manufacturer, especially for a single device aimed at 100's of millions of users. No one has cracked that code yet. Not FitBit, not Garmin, not even Polar who've been at it for over 25yrs. Nevertheless, the data you need to understand your health better is valuable even without exacting FDA compliances.

    ?WATCH will be fine without FDA nods. I believe its greatest assets will be in the areas of secure authentication, extensibility and notifications. Competitors are a year or more away from a real TouchID solution, and ?WATCH will take advantage of that.
  • Reply 28 of 86
    canukstorm wrote: »
    1983 wrote: »
     
    Its a shame they had all that difficulty with the various health related sensors. If they hadn't the Apple Watch could've of been something very special indeed. As it is, its very nice, probably the best of the current generation of smart watches. But not the really unique or must have product it could've been. None the less I'm quite sure it'll sell in much higher numbers than its competitors products. 
    If it sells in significant numbers, it'll be due to fashion & apps. And I don't mean that in a negative either.
    desuserign wrote: »
    [SIZE=14px]Apple has scrapped a number of things they have investigated only for them to appear later, when technology or engineering caught up with their vision. <span style="line-height:1.4em;">It's called "</span>
    <strong style="font-size:16px;font-style:normal;line-height:1.4em;">the design process</strong>
    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">," people. </span>
    [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=14px]What's astonishing is that so many companies seem unable todo this (hence, what's known as "a poor Samsung design process.")[/SIZE]

    Fixed that for you. ;)

    The Samsung design process is also know as the "Throw Enough Shit Out the Door and Maybe Something Will Stick" process.

    Samsung cannot tell if a product is any good until after they ship it. Their customers are their beta testers.
  • Reply 29 of 86
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

     

     

    Guess what? I don't own any of them (and I don't think they qualify as successful products anyway.)

    [PS athletes often sweat profusely and perform in the rain. Some even swim!? Just because Microsoft et al are too stupid to understand this doesn't mean Apple needs to be!]

     

    That's an incredibly shortsighted and unimaginative assertion. It's amazing to me that any serious reader of this website would pose it. Sometime after you are proven wrong, I'll consider buying one [but only if it's waterproof.] Until then you and a few other gadget gobsmacked folks can help Apple with their product Beta testing program.


     

    The Sport version is splash proof and certainly sweat proof, but you can'T take a shower with it (though you could probably run in light to medium rain, which generally is not considered a shower ;-). Though heavy rain probably could be considered a shower (but I hate running in heavy rain).

  • Reply 30 of 86
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

     

    Medical diagnostics is extremely tricky stuff. And expensive to develop. With enormous liability risk.  And great cost, as a consequence.  Which is why lab testing frequencies are carefully scrutinized by insurance companies.  Yes, some day the technology might catch up with the ideas, but I'm not surprised that day isn't going to be in this year.  

     

    One example being blood pressure... it's a measurement that was devised around pre-existing technology (pressure gauges, squeeze-bulbs, audible heartbeat). And even that is difficult to implement in a continuous, day-long manner.  It's important to keep in mind that the metric itself, even when accurately measured, is often just an indicator of something else--it's not blood pressure that really matters, it's the consequences of high or low bp that matter--and those things can be even more difficult to measure.  

     

    For other things we might want to quantify, such as "stress" (whatever that means), developing the technology de-novo is a huge jump, can be much more difficult (or impossible) to do.

     

    Software engineers unfortunately live in a logical world where everything is defined and predictable. This can make them over-confident in their ability to develop diagnostic monitors (or self-driving autos, etc.), and cause their employers to pour money into black-hole projects such as the shelved wearable mentioned in the article.  Real biological systems are rarely logical and predictable, and this creates the problem.  But it's nice that Apple had the resources to give it a go.  No doubt some of their projects will pay off.


     

    Devellopers of such things though wouldn't be software engineers, but computer, systems, electrical and material and mechanical engineers. Systems engineers are closer to the hardware (though they do software engineering too in their own way, maybe it is just a question of semantics  :-).

  • Reply 31 of 86
    blazarblazar Posts: 270member
    This stuff isnt reliable in hospitals, with a hospital's budget. Technical and other boundaries are quite substantial for accuracy and precision. I did a study with an israeli compnay on skin censors as an example... Pretty cool group data but individual patient unreliability was a serious prbloem

    I could have saved them a lot of money if they just visited a typical day at work for me...
  • Reply 32 of 86
    blazarblazar Posts: 270member
    One important study showed that stress is GOOD as long as YOU THINK it is good! The frame of reference being your perception made all the difference.

    A watch that reminds you that stress is bad is POINTLESS! It should say, great work, your stress is making you live longer. In other words you dont need a stress sensor... Ever. You would almost always make he wrong biofeedback and make the problem worse by inducing worry.
  • Reply 33 of 86
    irelandireland Posts: 17,659member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

    I can't help but suspect Apple ran into some of the same issues; the technology just isn't quite there yet. But, with ?Money pushing development, I'm sure they'll achieve it soon enough.


     

    Yeah sure light sensors that read blood sugar have existed at lab-level for a while now but are notoriously inaccurate so they've yet to make it to a shipping product. If and when they do it'll be a revolution for diabetics: and people will get able to buy an ?Watch through their medical plan. And imaging when it can tell precisely how dehydrated you are? You could receive a notification telling you when you need to drink water. That would be incredible.

  • Reply 34 of 86
    irelandireland Posts: 17,659member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post



    That's more like what I was expecting from Apple. The watch that was so good and useful that it could actually force me to start wearing watches again lol. Not feeling the Apple Watch, though.



    It's not for everyone.

  • Reply 35 of 86
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post





    A very very big niche. One that would (will) grow year over year with the development of better tech and associated services, and importantly, buy-in from the medical profession.



    No, no, no, you're ruining the narrative! It *must* have the Mother of All Sales the first week or it's an unmitigated failure. 

  • Reply 36 of 86
    irelandireland Posts: 17,659member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post



    I kind of wonder why the scanning components couldn't be separate to the watch.

     

    You're joking right?

  • Reply 37 of 86
    irelandireland Posts: 17,659member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

     

    RE waterproof—IMO Apple's watch thing will never be successful in the broad market until it is waterproof and can hold a charge for a week or more. 


     

    Define successful? I think if they waited to release ?Watch when they could make it as small as it is now and have it last a week it'd be too late to market. They did the right think in getting a polished v1.0 out the door. When major advancements in battery technology come along they will be ready. And making it fully waterproof will happen eventually too. Not so easy when you have a mic and a speaker to do that to an Apple-quality when the project is already so complex.

  • Reply 38 of 86
    irelandireland Posts: 17,659member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    Agreed. I think people have a habit of using "waterproof" and "water resistant" interchangeable. Apple Watch needs to be water resistant. A waterproof Sport variant can come later.

     

    It is water-resistant.

  • Reply 39 of 86
    irelandireland Posts: 17,659member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

     

    Software engineers unfortunately live in a logical world where everything is defined and predictable. This can make them over-confident in their ability to develop diagnostic monitors (or self-driving autos, etc.), and cause their employers to pour money into black-hole projects such as the shelved wearable mentioned in the article.  Real biological systems are rarely logical and predictable, and this creates the problem.  But it's nice that Apple had the resources to give it a go.  No doubt some of their projects will pay off.


     

    Who says they were shelved?

  • Reply 40 of 86
    irelandireland Posts: 17,659member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

     

    I need the watch to also have the ability to plug in a probe so that I can get an accurate ph level reading for my outdoor plants.




    You can do that with your phone. And that's not a functionality of the watch, it's third party functionality that's readily available.

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