Apple, Biometrics, Daily Updates, Future Ear Radio, Hearables, Wearables

Guardians of Health (Future Ear Daily Update 9-23-19)

9-23-19 - Guardians of Health

During Apple’s annual hardware event last year, the Apple Watch series 4 was released and during the unveiling, Apple’s COO, Jeff Williams, proclaimed that the Apple Watch was, “an intelligent guardian for your health.” In Apple’s press release detailing the Apple Watch Series 4, Apple stated:

“Apple Watch Series 4 with watchOS 5 brings advanced activity and communications features, along with revolutionary health capabilities, including a new accelerometer and gyroscope, which are able to detect hard falls, and an electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram (ECG)using the new ECG app,1 which has been granted a De Novo classification by the FDA.”

At this year’s September hardware event, the Apple Watch Series 5 was released and Apple took it a step further, as outlined in this year’s press release:

“For added personal safety while traveling, users with cellular models of Apple Watch Series 5 can now complete international calls to emergency services, regardless of where the device was originally purchased or if the cellular plan has been activated. International emergency calling also works with fall detection, if enabled, to automatically place an emergency call if Apple Watch senses the user has taken a hard fall and remains motionless for about a minute.”

In addition, Apple’s Health app software development kits, such as ResearchKit, are being used to conduct a number of large-scale studies from the longitudinal data being collected via the Apple Watches, such as The Hearing Study. In a growing number of ways, Jeff Williams’ claim that the Watch would evolve into an, “intelligent guardian of health,” is being realized.

In addition to saving lives by detecting falls and dialing 9-1-1 on the user’s behalf, a simple google search of, “Apple Watch saves life,” will yield story after story of the Watch detecting atrial fibrillation or irregularities in the user’s heartbeat via the EKG monitor embedded in the Apple Watch Series 4. So, it quite literally might save your life, and it’s doing so in more and more ways with the new versions of the Watch and WatchOS.

As I wrote about in my “Wearables Grow Up,” post on Friday, health is at the core of wearable devices’ evolution (this applies to non-Apple wearables as well). Gathering longitudinal data, at scale, via wearables, and then connecting the real-time data to the user’s broader healthcare data, such as their electronic health records, creates a level of personal healthcare we’ve never really seen before. This allows for people en masse to monitor their health more intelligently, all the time. Wearables like the Apple Watch are capable of providing life-saving services too, as evidenced by stories all over the world of people attributing their Apple Watch to saving their life.

An intelligent guardian of one’s health, indeed.

-Thanks for Reading-


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