IBM adopts Apple Watch for internal fitness initiative & Watson-linked health app [u]

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited October 2015
IBM is reportedly deepening its investment in Apple platforms via the Apple Watch, offering discounted units to its own employees, as well as linking ts Watson supercomputer to an upcoming Watch app. [Updated]




Under a new "Commit to Health" program, IBM workers will be able to get a free or lower-cost Watch depending on the health plan they choose, MacRumors reported on Tuesday. It's not clear whether the Watch effort is replacing or merely supplementing an existing Fitbit-based initiative.

People who tracked their exercise with Fitbits were eligible to accumulate points that could be traded in for goods or donations. The Apple Watch can monitor elements like steps, heart rate, and standing time.

A number of companies have adopted similar programs, using them as a way of reducing downtime and healthcare costs with their workforces.

The Watson-based Watch app -- called CafeWell Concierge -- was developed by a firm called Welltok, and lets users ask questions about exercise, nutrition, general health issues, or even IBM's health benefits, according to Fortune. The tool is intended to become more personalized over time, and will even prompt interactions on its own through a "Dialog" feature.

The app may also offer recommendations -- like nearby healthy restaurants, or a flu shot at a local pharmacy -- as well as reminders about things like taking medicine.

CafeWell Concierge will first be made available to IBM staff so that Watson can build up its database and improve guidance. A commercial version of the app is due to arrive in 2016.

Update: IBM confirmed to AppleInsider that the Fitbit program will continue.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    very cool. hope to see more of this.

    of course, the troll-audience of MR is already pouncing on this as signs that apple has to "give" these things away. omg. are they for real? (that place truly went to the dumps when they eliminated down votes. which is why, of course, it's where B. Frost now reigns.)
  • Reply 2 of 9
    When will Siri be introduced to Watson? If they hook up, what kind of AI will they spawn?
  • Reply 3 of 9

    Really hoping that IBM starts to think in terms of Watson services available via ad support or via subscription for any number of applications, ranging from medical diagnosis or advice, to stock information, to buying services, to whatever else they could imagine to capitalize on that massive "brain" they've built.

  • Reply 4 of 9
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,154member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NolaMacGuy View Post



    very cool. hope to see more of this.



    of course, the troll-audience of MR is already pouncing on this as signs that apple has to "give" these things away. omg. are they for real? (that place truly went to the dumps when they eliminated down votes. which is why, of course, it's where B. Frost now reigns.)

     

    Of course they eliminated down-votes, we can't hurt the trolls feelings now, can we? MR has always been more welcoming of trolls that hate Apple, than intelligent, rational posters. It's how they make money. 

  • Reply 5 of 9

    nice idea, but unless their app can drastically reduce cheating it’s not much more effective than existing employee wellness programs. i can still just hand my Apple Watch over to my fitness obsessed kid to bloat my fitness stats for me and have a beer instead

  • Reply 6 of 9
    First a mMacbook. Now an Apple Watch. I'm happy about working at IBM
  • Reply 7 of 9
    pk22901pk22901 Posts: 139member
    "nice idea, but unless their app can drastically reduce cheating it's not much more effective than existing employee wellness programs. i can still just hand my Apple Watch over to my fitness obsessed kid to bloat my fitness stats for me and have a beer instead."

    We can this an 'edge case' that doesn't need to be handled.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    pk22901 wrote: »
    "nice idea, but unless their app can drastically reduce cheating it's not much more effective than existing employee wellness programs. i can still just hand my Apple Watch over to my fitness obsessed kid to bloat my fitness stats for me and have a beer instead."

    We can this an 'edge case' that doesn't need to be handled.

    The purpose of the ?Watch as a fitness tool is to help the employee to reach his or her fitness goals and to monitor progress. The purpose is not to cheat. No one needs an ?Watch or any other device to cheat on their goals.
  • Reply 9 of 9

    To get this free, you have to have the PPO and HSA health plans, reportedly...  

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