Tim Cook hints Apple pushing further into health through Apple Watch & other devices

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited May 2016
Apple is hoping to venture deeper into health tracking, through the Apple Watch and beyond, CEO Tim Cook hinted on Tuesday during a talk at Startup Fest Europe in Amsterdam.




"The holy grail of the watch is being able to monitor more and more of what's going on in your body," Cook told the conference's audience, according to Bloomberg. "If you could have a device that knew so much about you, it would be incredible, and would extend life and extend quality. I'm not saying one device will do all of that."

The executive argued that "health is a huge issue around the world," and "ripe for simplicity and a new view." Using a car maintenance analogy, he suggested that health devices should one day be able to tell wearers to get a checkup much in the same way a car will warn about overheating or an upcoming oil change.

"If you look at some things we're doing that don't drive revenue but have massive interest from our teams, health is very much one of them," Cook said.

Prior to the release of the first-generation Apple Watch, early rumors claimed Apple was interested in tracking a wide range of health factors, something that would've required an array of sensors. The shipping device was comparatively limited, mostly able to track steps, standing time, and heartrate, though some third-party apps have tried to tackle things like sleep activity.

Apple is believed to be working on a second-generation Watch that might ship later this year, though rumors have yet to mention any new health features. Instead these have suggested the device could have a better battery, processor, and/or display, and possibly built-in LTE, freeing it from dependence on an iPhone.
mejsric

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    "You are somewhat dehydrated. Drink a 250 ml glass of water."

    "Your sugar level is high. Take 5 units of insulin."

    "You're blood pressure is low."

    "You seem stressed. Consider meditation."
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 2 of 16
    mubailimubaili Posts: 442member
    This is limited by how much an nonintrusive device can theoretically know about what is going on on our body.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,188member
    Judging from the renewed watch advertising campaign here (billboards, tv, etc) I suspect that apple will be announcing an update at WWDC. (Which might make sense as watchOS would likely reveal a lot about the device's hardware features.)
    palominemjhnl
  • Reply 4 of 16
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    mubaili said:
    This is limited by how much an nonintrusive device can theoretically know about what is going on on our body.
    Theoretically it can know probably everything you'd need it to know. Non-invasive blood sugar technologies for example are already being tested and researched in labs. Within 5 years they could be available to the public. And with 10 they'll probably be in watches.
    edited May 2016 fastasleep
  • Reply 5 of 16
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,541member
    Why announce before product/s ready to release. Now, Koreans and Chinese will come out half ass devices at lower price and fool/screw the consumers.
    edited May 2016 cali
  • Reply 6 of 16
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    wood1208 said:
    Why announce before product/s ready to release. Now, Koreans and Chinese will come out half ass devices at lower price and fool/screw the consumers.
    There's no such thing as a half-assed medical reader. It's either good or potentially lethal. The regulating on these things will be mega-strict.
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 7 of 16
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    But I thought Apple didn't want to know anything about us because privacy and all that. /s

    Anyway I'm curious how much Apple can do that won't require FDA (or similar regulatory agencies) approval. The Watch is sold in so many countries. Seems like that would slow down how quickly Apple can innovate in this space.
  • Reply 8 of 16
    jakebjakeb Posts: 559member
    Prediction: they're revealing that the diagnostic port will now be known as a "smart connector" and announce a bunch of 3rd party medical device manufacturers who have developed bands that test all sorts of things, relieving Apple itself of having to push things through the fda. Sensor ecosystem, like the app ecosystem. 
    slprescottchiaradarthekat
  • Reply 9 of 16
    slprescottslprescott Posts: 763member
    Tim: "I'm not saying one device will do all of that."

    Long term, I suspect Apple will release multiple products that are health-related.  As Tim hints, they don't intend the Watch to be "one ring to rule them all" -- i.e., an omniscient device that captures and tracks all health data.  It will become one element of a larger health ecosystem.

    Potentially -- although less likely (?) -- Apple could aim to create devices for health professionals too -- a la the famous Tricorder from Star Trek.  While that device was fictional, I could see Apple releasing several devices that capture and process health-related data over the full data lifecycle (capture, ingest, processing, analytics, reporting).  The current Apple Watch is simply the first installment of that grand plan to simplify and modernize personal health tracking.
    edited May 2016 cali
  • Reply 10 of 16
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member
    "Dude don't drive. Your blood alcohol level is high."

    "Do you really need to eat those Pringles? Your body fat ratio is already wonky."

    "You seem to be playing video games. Remember you have your first appointment tomorrow at 8 a.m."

    kidding aside I think focusing on health makes sense. The Fitbit is doing great. People want wearable health tech. 

    I look forward to the day when you can take your Apple Watch into the wilderness and have it run for days giving you reliable GPS without being in the presence of an iPhone. 
    cali
  • Reply 11 of 16
    No duh? I thought this was more than clear when the Apple Watch was introduced. Nothing of substance new here.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,394moderator
    But I thought Apple didn't want to know anything about us because privacy and all that. /s

    Anyway I'm curious how much Apple can do that won't require FDA (or similar regulatory agencies) approval. The Watch is sold in so many countries. Seems like that would slow down how quickly Apple can innovate in this space.

    ---

    I could imagine Apple at WWDC announcing an Apple Watch band interface spec for medical device manufacturers to create bands that incorporate monitoring technology.  Let the device manufacturers get FDA approval; leave that to them, it's their business.
    slprescott
  • Reply 13 of 16
    VisualSeedVisualSeed Posts: 217member
    But I thought Apple didn't want to know anything about us because privacy and all that. /s

    Anyway I'm curious how much Apple can do that won't require FDA (or similar regulatory agencies) approval. The Watch is sold in so many countries. Seems like that would slow down how quickly Apple can innovate in this space.

    ---

    I could imagine Apple at WWDC announcing an Apple Watch band interface spec for medical device manufacturers to create bands that incorporate monitoring technology.  Let the device manufacturers get FDA approval; leave that to them, it's their business.
    That's probably the smartest way to do it. Let the watch be the computer and the individual medical device companies make the sensors and worry about the FDA process. Since each individual type of sensor/device is probably a niche market (or at the very least smaller than Apple's market for watches), it's better to let them all do their own thing and just reap the benefits of selling the piece that makes them all work. 
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 14 of 16
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    512ke said:
    "Dude don't drive. Your blood alcohol level is high."

    "Do you really need to eat those Pringles? Your body fat ratio is already wonky."

    "You seem to be playing video games. Remember you have your first appointment tomorrow at 8 a.m."

    kidding aside I think focusing on health makes sense. The Fitbit is doing great. People want wearable health tech. 

    I look forward to the day when you can take your Apple Watch into the wilderness and have it run for days giving you reliable GPS without being in the presence of an iPhone. 
    What the frack device does that now, always on GPS for days... NONE. Got that ZERO.

    If you're in god damn wilderness, I'm guessing you probably have a god damn backpack too with your Iphone in it  and probably a battery pack too (maybe even one recharged by a portable solar panel) : build a better straw man next time.
    edited May 2016 VisualSeed
  • Reply 15 of 16
    colinngcolinng Posts: 115member
    ireland said:
    wood1208 said:
    Why announce before product/s ready to release. Now, Koreans and Chinese will come out half ass devices at lower price and fool/screw the consumers.
    There's no such thing as a half-assed medical reader. It's either good or potentially lethal. The regulating on these things will be mega-strict.
    Theranos?
  • Reply 16 of 16
    aricbaricb Posts: 27member
    If i spent hundreds on a watch, any watch, i sure as heck wouldn't wear it while i was exercising. Doing so would get it all sweaty. Besides, my $30 watch looks way nicer than the expensive and plain apple watch.
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