Why #AppleWatch may be recommended by Doctors

 Source: Apple.com

Source: Apple.com


If Apple were a country, its economy would be amongst the best performing economies in the world. Recently, the company has reached a trillion dollar valuation and also became the first to get such valuation in the world.

In 2016, according to Statistics, Apple employed 116,000 people. At the time, according to the United Nations  Population Division, one country at the time had the same population as Apple had employees and that was the island nation of Kiribati in the Central Pacific.

If Apple were a country, yesterday, it would have presented the future of health care in the digital age. One of the products introduced this week at the Apple product event is the Apple  Watch 4. A closer attention to the new wearable product launched by Apple provides critical lessons on how to use technology and innovation to resolve some of the major national challenges such as health.

THE WATCH FOR HEALTH

Amongst many products launched by Apple, one was an upgrade of their wearable device, the Apple watch. Apple launched the Apple Watch Series 4. The device signals that Apple is serious about the health sector.

The device is capable of generating an ECG similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram. This functionality will enable the Apple Watch to provide critical real-time data for doctors. Electrodes built into the Apple watch devices when they work together with the ECG app are able to read your heart’s electrical signals. This data can indicate whether your heart rhythm shows signs of atrial fibrillation (a serious form of irregular heart rhythm) or sinus rhythm, which means your heart is beating in a normal pattern.

Each beat of the heart sends out an electrical impulse. With the ECG app, Apple Watch Series 4 can read and record these impulses by connecting the circuit between your heart and both arms. The resulting ECG waveform, its classification, and any notes you’ve entered on related symptoms are automatically stored in the Health app on your iPhone. This information can thereafter be shared with the  doctor to enable a more informed engagement with the doctor.

The Apple health functionality has even been approved by the The Food and Drug Administration (FDA),  a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments.

To get a better understanding of what this means for the future of health care you have to look at other Apple health initiatives. To look after its employees Apple has built its own  health care centres, via AC Wellness. This company is a separate subsidiary of Apple that is dedicated to its employees in Santa Clara County, where the company is based. This has been done partly to provide health services to staff but  mainly to conduct health research that will be instrumental in Apple health product development processes. Apple has also embarked on a recruitment campaign of Doctors and health researchers to beef its health efforts.

What is notable about Apples focus on health is that it has paid attention to wellness. This is evident when one looks at the fact that hires skew toward wellness professionals like nutritionists, exercise specialists and nurse practitioners.

Imagine if a Health Ministry had this approach to the health of its citizens. This is an example of what a country should strive for in order to solve problems. The use of technology to address health challenges by Apple is a great example for health institutions. The ability to understand each citizens health status is critical to provide proper health care.

The great news is that this is possible with the proper use of the health data within a country.  What Apple is demonstrating is the use of products (physical objects) to collect data and what can be done with it to make a difference. Health is one avenue where quality data can be used to develop solutions. Quality data can also be used for crime, employment and education in order to provide better services. Physical objects such as buildings can be used as objects for collecting data that can in turn be used to provide better services.

The Apple event has introduced new products to the world and at the same time it provided lessons on how challenges can be solved with the use of technology and innovation.


Kay Ann