Monday, March 23, 2015

More on Apple Watch as a Medical Monitoring Device

I recently ran across an article about Apple's continuing work to make the Watch a medical monitoring device. Here's a link to that article:

According to the article Apple considered including a number of medical monitoring devices/capabilities for their first generation Watch. For the first generation, those have been scrapped for reliability and regulatory reasons. Apparently Apple is still interested in adding more physiological sensors to the Watch, but if those capabilities appear, they'll be included in next generation Watches.

However, there was something that caught my interest from the article:

"Aside from catchall smartwatch devices, a number of standalone solutions for off-the-shelf medical style monitoring already exist in the form of products — usually wrist-worn — from smaller manufacturers and startups. For example, the W/Me band incorporates a specialized sensor to measure a user's autonomic nervous system for keeping track of stress levels, while the latest products from Fitbit tout all-day heart rate monitoring."

There are lots of other companies making sensors that would be useful for medical monitoring purposes. For Apple and the Watch there are many ways this can play out. Frankly none of these are mutually exclusive.

  1. Apple can purchase the sensing technology to incorporate into Apple-produced sensors.
  2. Apple can purchase the sensors and integrated them into the Watch 
  3. The third-party sensors can communicate with the Apple Watch over WiFi. 
The data collected by the Apple Watch could be:

  1. Analyzed and presented locally ... by the Watch
  2. Uploaded to the iPhone were the iPhone would process the data and either communicate it back to the Watch for display or be displayed on the iPhone ... or both.
  3. Uploaded to the iPhone that intern uploads it to a centralized system for processing. The results of that analysis could be communicated back for display on the iPhone or Watch. If so indicated an alert could be included if conditions warranted. 
Again, none of these are mutually exclusive. Data could be processed and displayed on the Watch and communicated back to a centralized system.

More updates on the Apple Watch to come ...

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