Steve Jobs tasked Apple to fix healthcare and Apple Watch is part of the answer

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited May 2016
An interesting profile of Apple's overarching health initiative published Monday says Apple Watch, a device marketed to fashion-forward consumers, has roots in late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs' personal quest for better healthcare, a goal he wanted for all Apple customers.




Citing Apple executives who helped develop Apple Watch, Tim Bajarin, writing for Time, reports the company's focus on health came about through Jobs' long bout with pancreatic cancer, a disease that ultimately took his life in 2011. On his personal path through the American healthcare system, Jobs discovered a disjointed apparatus in need of improvement. He made it Apple's goal to address the disconnect, and improve the health of its customers, with technology, the report said.

Among the issues Apple looks to address with its lineup of health products is the data gap between patients and healthcare providers. For many, especially those suffering from serious illness, it is difficult or impossible to routinely monitor, assess and report health related metrics in a timely manner. Existing fitness trackers proved inadequate for such tasks, so Apple dreamed up Watch and its supporting software frameworks as a first step in reimagining healthcare.

Spearheaded on the hardware side by Apple Watch, an always-on connected wearable capable of measuring movement, heart rate and other biometrics, Apple's ambitions in the sector have only gained momentum since Jobs' death. For example, HealthKit debuted in 2014, allowing developers to build health monitoring software with tie-ins to Apple's Health app. ResearchKit launched nine months later to facilitate large scale medical studies, and to investigate how best to leverage data generated by Watch.

On the topic of in-house testing, Bajarin said he recently visited an Apple health lab, a secretive facility first profiled by ABC News shortly after Apple Watch was unveiled publicly. Staffed by seven full-time nurses, the lab uses cutting edge medical equipment to monitor and gather data from all ilk of employee as they run through a variety of exercises. Given that the lab operates 12 hours a day, six days a week, Apple likely has accumulated a treasure trove of biometric data that can be used to inform future product designs.

Most recently, Apple in April launched its latest health software platform. Called CareKit, the open framework lets developers build easy to use software for tracking, managing and reporting medical conditions. While not an end-all solution, the platform is perhaps the closest has come to creating the comprehensive system Jobs sought -- one capable of gathering, quantifying and sharing of health data with healthcare professionals.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    jet23jet23 Posts: 12member
    This is a goal truly worthy of the company's attention. I count eliminating the need to pilot a vehicle as another such goal
    robertwaltermagman1979repressthislatifbplollivercornchip
  • Reply 2 of 32
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 775member
    It's clear how much this company has a pulse (no pun intended) when it comes to this kind of stuff. Steve Jobs passes away, Tim Cook makes it a very strong focus to change the way we interact with not only the healthcare industry but how we interact with our own health. This is why Apple is not just like any other company on this planet. Maybe I've been drinking the Koop-aid for to long (over 30 years) but I truly believe this company gives a damn. 
    radarthekatpaxmancalirobertwalterbrucemcmagman1979pscooter63stevehrepressthislatifbp
  • Reply 3 of 32
    ResearchKit and their related software is, IMO, one of the most significant things Apple has ever done.
    radarthekatpaxmancalirobertwaltermagman1979stevehrepressthislatifbplollivercornchip
  • Reply 4 of 32
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member
    One day the watch will be able to monitor your glucose levels. The tech is already here. 
    http://www.gluco-wise.com
    latifbpmattinoz
  • Reply 5 of 32
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,291member
    ResearchKit and their related software is, IMO, one of the most significant things Apple has ever done.
    Yet it should garner more attention, but instead we have everyone attention focus on shares almost everyday.
    calirobertwaltermagman1979repressthislatifbplolliverbaconstangmacxpressfastasleep
  • Reply 6 of 32
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    But but but I thought everyone said the Watch is something Steve Jobs would never have released?
    calimattinozrazorpitnolamacguy
  • Reply 7 of 32
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    But but Goog is extending human life!!!

    - a real fandroid comment I read.
    cornchipquadra 610applepieguy
  • Reply 8 of 32
    larryalarrya Posts: 582member
    But but but I thought everyone said the Watch is something Steve Jobs would never have released?
    Makes you wonder if Jobs would have wanted such a focus on fashion and $300 bands, doesn't it?  Where are all the monitoring advances not offered by fitness bands again?

     I submit that the watch we got is very different from what Jobs envisioned. I think the real difference between Cook and Jobs is the reaction each had to adversity. When Cook met resistance with things like FDA approval of advanced sensors, instead of finding a way forward, he went with Plan B and turned the watch into a glorified FitBit. If Jobs had reacted this way when the iPhone was first developed we would have gotten a bag phone with an iPod coupon. 
    repressthisGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 32
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    larrya said:
    But but but I thought everyone said the Watch is something Steve Jobs would never have released?
    Makes you wonder if Jobs would have wanted such a focus on fashion and $300 bands, doesn't it?  Where are all the monitoring advances not offered by fitness bands again?

     I submit that the watch we got is very different from what Jobs envisioned. I think the real difference between Cook and Jobs is the reaction each had to adversity. When Cook met resistance with things like FDA approval of advanced sensors, instead of finding a way forward, he went with Plan B and turned the watch into a glorified FitBit. If Jobs had reacted this way when the iPhone was first developed we would have gotten a bag phone with an iPod coupon. 
    I don't get your last sentence.

    I imagine Apple Watch is just getting started. If you look at Apple's patents, acquisitions and hires, the future looks very interesting for Watch.
    repressthisihatescreennameslatifbplolliverbaconstangrazorpitnolamacguypte applefastasleep
  • Reply 10 of 32
    latifbplatifbp Posts: 544member
    larrya said:
    But but but I thought everyone said the Watch is something Steve Jobs would never have released?
    Makes you wonder if Jobs would have wanted such a focus on fashion and $300 bands, doesn't it?  Where are all the monitoring advances not offered by fitness bands again?

     I submit that the watch we got is very different from what Jobs envisioned. I think the real difference between Cook and Jobs is the reaction each had to adversity. When Cook met resistance with things like FDA approval of advanced sensors, instead of finding a way forward, he went with Plan B and turned the watch into a glorified FitBit. If Jobs had reacted this way when the iPhone was first developed we would have gotten a bag phone with an iPod coupon. 
    The fashion aspect caters to what people buy watches for. Adding the sensors is the meat and potatoes. The combination differentiates Watch
    calilolliverbaconstangpte applefastasleep
  • Reply 11 of 32
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    latifbp said:
    larrya said:
    Makes you wonder if Jobs would have wanted such a focus on fashion and $300 bands, doesn't it?  Where are all the monitoring advances not offered by fitness bands again?

     I submit that the watch we got is very different from what Jobs envisioned. I think the real difference between Cook and Jobs is the reaction each had to adversity. When Cook met resistance with things like FDA approval of advanced sensors, instead of finding a way forward, he went with Plan B and turned the watch into a glorified FitBit. If Jobs had reacted this way when the iPhone was first developed we would have gotten a bag phone with an iPod coupon. 
    The fashion aspect caters to what people buy watches for. Adding the sensors is the meat and potatoes. The combination differentiates Watch

    You're right. Apple's always been about fashion, they make tech look cool.
    edited May 2016 lolliverbaconstang
  • Reply 12 of 32
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,630member
    paxman said:
    One day the watch will be able to monitor your glucose levels. The tech is already here. 
    http://www.gluco-wise.com
    Special bands would be prefect for sensors like this. It's not something you'd need/want full time and is likely to be on the bulkier side for a number of generations.
    As band you could still dress the watch up on occasions the sensors are non-critical. If your doctor wanted a weeks worth of data they could rent you a band.
  • Reply 13 of 32
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Now to:

    1. Perfect that infrared glucose monitor and add it to Apple Watch—push notification: you need 10 units of insulin within 35 minutes.

    2. Perfect that hydration monitor and add it to Apple Watch—push notification: you're slightly dehydrated, you should drink a 250 ml glass of water shortly.

    Future sensor: you are very stressed, 20-30 minutes of meditation is recommended.

    Future sensor: your hormone count indicates you are 'a lazy bastard' and should start those exercises you promised yourself you'd do. It's been a few weeks now. Don't do this to Siri.
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 14 of 32
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    larrya said:
    But but but I thought everyone said the Watch is something Steve Jobs would never have released?
    Makes you wonder if Jobs would have wanted such a focus on fashion and $300 bands, doesn't it?  Where are all the monitoring advances not offered by fitness bands again?

     I submit that the watch we got is very different from what Jobs envisioned. I think the real difference between Cook and Jobs is the reaction each had to adversity. When Cook met resistance with things like FDA approval of advanced sensors, instead of finding a way forward, he went with Plan B and turned the watch into a glorified FitBit. If Jobs had reacted this way when the iPhone was first developed we would have gotten a bag phone with an iPod coupon. 
    All I hear is the usual innuendo from you, pure utter nonsense, as usual.
    Jobs this, Jobs that, FDA this, FDA.... Doesn't matter if your talking pure baseless tripe about Jobs or the FDA, you don't care.

    We know EXACTLY what you think of the watch,  so your whole spiel is getting old.
    edited May 2016 razorpitnolamacguyfastasleepapplepieguy
  • Reply 15 of 32
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    cali said:
    larrya said:
    Makes you wonder if Jobs would have wanted such a focus on fashion and $300 bands, doesn't it?  Where are all the monitoring advances not offered by fitness bands again?

     I submit that the watch we got is very different from what Jobs envisioned. I think the real difference between Cook and Jobs is the reaction each had to adversity. When Cook met resistance with things like FDA approval of advanced sensors, instead of finding a way forward, he went with Plan B and turned the watch into a glorified FitBit. If Jobs had reacted this way when the iPhone was first developed we would have gotten a bag phone with an iPod coupon. 
    I don't get your last sentence.

    I imagine Apple Watch is just getting started. If you look at Apple's patents, acquisitions and hires, the future looks very interesting for Watch.
    Yeah, they've hired a boatload of medical device experts and medical experts, most of what they specialize in has not yet made its way into a device yet.
    The future will be interesting in that area.
    razorpit
  • Reply 16 of 32
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    larrya said:
    But but but I thought everyone said the Watch is something Steve Jobs would never have released?
    Makes you wonder if Jobs would have wanted such a focus on fashion and $300 bands, doesn't it?  Where are all the monitoring advances not offered by fitness bands again?

     I submit that the watch we got is very different from what Jobs envisioned. I think the real difference between Cook and Jobs is the reaction each had to adversity. When Cook met resistance with things like FDA approval of advanced sensors, instead of finding a way forward, he went with Plan B and turned the watch into a glorified FitBit. If Jobs had reacted this way when the iPhone was first developed we would have gotten a bag phone with an iPod coupon. 
    I assume a lot of the health focused stuff is coming. Those kinds of things can't be rolled out prematurely. And anything that would require FDA approval will take even longer to come to market.
    razorpitnolamacguy
  • Reply 17 of 32
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,172member
    kevin kee said:
    ResearchKit and their related software is, IMO, one of the most significant things Apple has ever done.
    Yet it should garner more attention, but instead we have everyone attention focus on shares almost everyday.

    Very well said...the media and of course shareholders just want to spout out about the doom and gloom of Apple instead of looking at what they're doing. I honestly think Apple knows what its doing and no shareholder has a clue as to how to better run Apple. They just think they do which just makes me laugh when I read comments on what Apple should be doing. 

    It would be nice if Apple got the attention it deserves in certain spaces, such as what its trying to do with healthcare, and I would even go as far as what they're "trying" to do with security. Instead, negative is focused on everything they do. I honestly think the media wants Apple to fail, why, because its a huge story that will go on for months and  months and give them ratings! 

    I know people think its stupid and silly to say, but I wish Apple were a private company. 
    razorpit
  • Reply 18 of 32
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    I doubt very much that the Apple Watch or any of Apples health care initiatives I am aware of are doing anything whatsoever to address the shortcomings in health care Steve Jobs was concerned with.

    Personally, I think the biggest problem with health care is it is intensely distorted and corrupted by vested financial interest.  It also seems to be incredibly doctrinal rather than evidence-based.  For instance, in 2010 the largest meta-study of research into cholesterol and cardiovascular disease concluded there was no evidence that cholesterol was a causative agent of cardiovascular disease, yet the message to the public hasn't changed.  Years after it was shown that ulcers were caused by infection, many doctors were still treating their patients with patent medicines urged on them by the traveling con-men of big pharma.
    cornchipfastasleep
  • Reply 19 of 32
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,856member
    cali said:
    But but Goog is extending human life!!!

    - a real fandroid comment I read.
    I think Samsung has something like this too… 

    -a quote I made up :))
  • Reply 20 of 32
    am8449am8449 Posts: 365member
    Staffed by seven full-time nurses, the lab uses cutting edge medical equipment to monitor and gather data from all ilk of employee as they run through a variety of exercises. Given that the lab operates 12 hours a day, six days a week, Apple likely has accumulated a treasure trove of biometric data that can be used to inform future product designs.
    This is exciting news, and could have benefits for medical research.

    From what I've read, most of our knowledge of medical science is based on pathology and illness, but there is inadequate data on the functioning of a normal, healthy body. Perhaps Apple's lab can help fill in this knowledge gap.
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