Apple has, over the year focused more on health hardware and software. The biggest push was the release of the Apple Watch. A wearable device has so much potential for health tracking and monitoring and Apple has not backed down on utilizing it to its fullest capacity. The Apple Watch features heart rate tracking, ECG, fall detection, and overall fitness tracking.
To further accompany the data being collected, users can view it in the Health app on their iPhone. Apple offers “Apple Health Rerocs” which allows for health providers to tap into that data furthering doctor-to-patient medical care.
A new report by CNCB highlights what experts in the industry want to see Apple do in the health field prior to WWDC. Henrik Berggren, the founder of Steady Health says that Apple has done very well in terms of motioning exercise and adding that data with 3d party devices. The company proactively updates and provides new development kits to developers such as Resaerchkit, allowing for iPhones and Apple Watch to yield in medial research.
While there is optimism, doctors themselves aren’t feeling as excited. As noted by the report the vast amount of data being collected from these devices is “overwhelming” for some doctors.
While some are bullish on their potential, others say that it’s highly cumbersome for them to analyze this patient-generated information, and they don’t currently get paid for the extra work. Many are simply refusing to look at data from wearable devices.
When John Koetsier, a technology consultant and writer, tried to share his Apple Watch data with a doctor, he was essentially told to keep it to himself. Koetsier had been tracking his food intake, weight and exercise on his own. But his doctor said that he had too many information sources already, and was feeling overwhelmed.
A common concern is set with the accuracy of these devices. On a personal note, every hospital visit I take I always cross-track my heart rate from my watch to that if the machine, it’s nearly 1-to-1 every time. We often hear stories on the Apple Watch saving people’s lives, but Dr. Josh Emdur has a slightly different experience. He claims that he once admitted a patient because of an Apple Watch alert, only to find out it was a false alarm. He does note that the technology has improved and that he still recommends it as a medical device.
Another doctor, Dr. Jeffery Wessler says that while the Apple Watch is beneficial, it does annoy patients when an Apple Watch alert has no real risk factors. The health industry is worth $3.5 trillion, and Apple has incredible potential mainly being in improved sensory data. CNBC notes that improved monitoring in the Apple Watch for blood pressure or blood sugar monitoring would impact the majority of Americans suffering from those conditions.
More user-end features such as sleep tracking which is set to be released at WWDC, telemedicine, women’s health-centric features, more integration with 3r party devices, more credible medical trials, and food logging are just some of the areas where experts how to see Apple improve in.