Apple: Steve Jobs' Healthcare Prompted Apple Watch Development

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steve-jobs-iphoneTIME published an article yesterday that offers an interesting take on Apple's long-term plans for the Apple Watch, noting that Steve Jobs' desire to improve the healthcare system indirectly inspired its development.

The article is written by technology consultant Tim Bajarin, who recently spent time at the company's headquarters and met with Apple executives involved with the Apple Watch. He asked them to explain their motivation for creating the wearable device, which was released just over a year ago.

According to Bajarin, the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs tasked his R&D teams with developing technology that would create a bridge between patients and healthcare providers, after his own experiences within the healthcare system in his battle with pancreatic cancer, which began in 2004. Jobs died from the disease in 2011.

During the intervening years, Jobs had become concerned with what he saw as a lack of connection between patients, their data, and healthcare providers, and sought to bring greater order to the system by developing a mobile platform and an ecosystem of devices that would make patient-doctor relationships more efficient and less frustrating.

During Bajarin's time at Cupertino, he was invited into Apple's dedicated health labs, where Apple has seven full-time nurses monitoring employee volunteers using advanced medical equipment as they perform various exercises in controlled conditions. Bajarin came away from his visit with the take-home message that while Apple has marketed the Watch as a fashionable timepiece, the company is committed to Jobs' original vision for the device as an enhanced health monitoring system.

The last few years has seen the company increase its focus on health and medical technology that integrates with its mobile devices. HealthKit framework debuted in 2014, allowing developers to build health monitoring software that integrates with Apple's Health app. Apple's open source framework ResearchKit was made available to developers in April 2015, enabling them to create their own iPhone apps for medical research purposes.

Just last month, Apple released CareKit iOS, another health-related framework allowing app developers to create integrated software that helps patients and doctors to better track and manage medical conditions.

You can read the TIME article here.

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Top Rated Comments

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58 months ago
Here comes the "fire Tim Cook" brigade. Seriously guys, if you hate Tim, Cue, Ive and Apple products there is better ways to spend your spare time than an Apple forum. Switch to Android and Windows and leave us be. You won't miss the stress and we'll get a break from constant negativity—we're all happy.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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58 months ago

Here comes the "fire Tim Cook" brigade. Seriously guys, if you hate Tim, Cue, Ive and Apple products there is better ways to spend your spare time than an Apple forum. Switch to Android and Windows and leave us be. You won't miss the stress and we'll get a break from constant negativity—we're all happy.

And here comes the "Switch to Android and Windows" brigade.
Constructive criticisms of Apple and its executive team are important.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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58 months ago
And that's the killer app for the Apple Watch, as originally envisioned, and of course, not yet deployed.

What Apple is building is a foundation for a gadget that will, one day, warn you when a heart attack is coming (among other things), saving thousands of lives. A must-have technology that will sell billions of pieces.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
58 months ago

Here comes the "fire Tim Cook" brigade. Seriously guys, if you hate Tim, Cue, Ive and Apple products there is better ways to spend your spare time than an Apple forum. Switch to Android and Windows and leave us be. You won't miss the stress and we'll get a break from constant negativity—we're all happy.

Macrumors is for everyone . We are all here to share our opinions and views. Very arrogant view by some that only positive / happy comments are allowed. Maybe time for those looking for only positive posts to move on.

Reality is that since Jobs passing, Apple and the fan base is going through a transition, pretend all is fine, the rest of us are here to discuss Apple and its products in 2016, all is not positive . Please stop complaining that we dare to share our opinions, which are not always positive .

Switching to android or Windows? Seriously?? It's like telling a sports fan to switch teams when they are performing badly.....really not understanding what a fan is.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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58 months ago
Just finished reading the Time article. Reminds me once again of what a huge loss we all suffered when Steve passed.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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58 months ago

And that's the killer app for the Apple Watch, as originally envisioned, and of course, not yet deployed.

The problem has always been that FDA approval is a laborious, lengthy process, and even under Steve Jobs, Apple never had the patience nor deftness to navigate that process. Nor do its investors or customers, who expect innovations every year. The FDA simply doesn't approve medical devices that quickly, and Apple Watch doing health related things beyond what it does now would make a medical device subject to that level of regulation. And I'm sure other countries, and the EU, would have their own approval and testing processes before you can sell something like that abroad.

This isn't to say the FDA shouldn't be involved. Some entity needs to make sure we're not being sold snake oil. BUt if we want Apple Watch to be anything more than it already is on the healthcare or medical side of things, we're going to be in for long waits between iterations.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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