“I love the watch,” the tech helmsman said at Startup Fest Europe in Amsterdam, as quoted by CNBC. The “holy grail” of the product is “being able to monitor more and more of what’s going on in the body,” Cook said. “It’s not technologically possible to do it today to the extent that we can imagine, but it will be.” Technological advancements will spur widespread adoption of the product, Cook said. “One day, this is my prediction, we will look back and we will wonder: how can I ever have gone without the watch?” Cook said, adding that the company sees “enormous” potential in healthcare.
The industry seems to be on board with the technology. About 70% of healthcare organizations said they will invest in consumer-facing mobile applications, wearables, remote health monitoring and virtual care by 2018, according to IDC data cited by CNBC. Apple is poised to cash in on the market with new offerings. In 2014, the company rolled out HealthKit, its consumer-facing platform that collects data to give a better picture of an individual’s health. Some hospitals have already latched onto the technology to monitor patients.
The tech giant has also launched ResearchKit and CareKit. ResearchKit provides a framework to developers looking to create apps that collect user data for research purposes. CareKit helps patients manage their health electronically by tracking symptoms and how often individuals take their meds. Apple could face some hurdles as it attempts to bring its watch and other health products to market. The company has cancelled plans to incorporate heartbeat and blood pressure monitoring features into its watch due to regulatory hurdles. It has also dealt with complaints over the accuracy of the device’s heart rate monitor.
However, Apple seems to be taking the setbacks in stride. Earlier this year, the company filed a patent for an electronic device that uses sensors to collect, monitor and send health data and work with a smartphone to track vital signs. “If you think about some of society’s biggest problems and challenges, one of the ones that we are really focused on is health,” Cook said, as quoted by CNBC. “And arguably the health care system can be made much simpler, can have much better results, you can have patients that really feel like customers … and have systems and applications that bring out the best in the medical professionals.”
REFERENCE: Fierce Medical Devices; 24 MAY 2016; Emily Wasserman