The Apple iWatch will be Patient Driven


While Google Glass could be used for medical purposes, the Apple iWatch seems better suited for patient engagement. Here are several reasons why.

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Wearable computers have made a huge impact this year. We have covered multiple devices, ranging from those that measure daily physical activity (e.g. Fitbit, Nike Fuelband) to Google Glass.

Now all eyes are on the Apple iWatch.

What will it look like? What will it do? What specifications will it have?

Most of these answers are unavailable due to Apple’s par for the course secretive nature. As such, much has been speculative at best about the iWatch.

In terms of implication for medical practice, the Apple Watch has the potential to be more patient driven than the current iteration of Google Glass. Whereas in the past I have mentioned that Google Glass could be used for multiple medical purposes, Apple Watch may be better suited for patient engagement.

This is due in part to the potential sensors built in, design and placement, and possible syncing ability with the iPhone. This is reinforced by recent news that Apple has employed multiple individuals from companies known for medical sensor tools.

There are several reasons why the Apple Watch will be a great patient engagement tool:

• Sensors could replace currently available physical activity peripherals and fitness trackers by serving as an advanced pedometer. If there is a built in GPS, the sensors could also be a way to track distance and miles more accurately.

• Integration with currently available ‘Medical’ and ‘Health and Fitness’ apps available on the iTunes store. For instance, just as Fitbit is able to sync over bluetooth with its app on the iPhone, the iWatch could accomplish the same goal. Many developers may seek to integrate the iWatch option into their apps, negating the development of their own peripheral.

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