health and fitness


'health and fitness' Articles

Apple's VP of Health Says Apple Has 'Good' Relationship With FDA, Will Continue to Do Great Work in the Health Space

Apple's VP of Health Dr. Sumbul Desai recently sat down for an interview with MobiHealthNews where she discussed Apple's health products, the company's relationship with the FDA, the success of the ECG feature on the Apple Watch, and more. On the topic of Apple's relationship with the FDA, Desai said that while Apple has a "good" relationship with the FDA, the FDA asked "hard questions" about the ECG feature in the ‌Apple Watch‌, which received De Novo clearance in the U.S. ahead of its release. Apple gets no special treatment from the FDA and undergoes the same scrutiny any other company does.With regards to the FDA, we have been working with them for years and we have developed a relationship. ... So we have a good relationship with the FDA. However, they held us to task. I mean, they asked us really hard questions and, given the size and impact we had, were very critical of our products and making sure that we're doing the right thing and thinking about the user first and the customer's safety first -- which they should do.On the ECG feature, which was added in the ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 4 and is available in the U.S., Desai said that customer stories "have been amazing." Cook has gotten a "number of letters" from people who were able to detect atrial fibrillation and get help earlier than they might have otherwise been able to. Response from doctors has also been "pretty decent," but cardiologists are still working on the best way to handle that kind of data coming from patients. In response to a question about ECG and another new health feature, fall

Apple Teams Up With Zimmer Biomet for Clinical Study on Joint Replacement

Zimmer Biomet, a company that develops joint replacement products, today announced that it is working with Apple to improve patient experience with Apple Watch and iPhone following knee and hip replacements. A new Zimmer Biomet mymobility app uses the Apple Watch to "facilitate a new level of connection" between patients and their doctors as they recover from major joint replacement surgery. Through the app, patients will be provided with "support and guidance" while preparing for and recovering from surgery, with surgeons able to use the data to "optimize care." In addition to collecting activity data and allowing surgeons to see recovery progress, the app can be used to send education and therapy reminders directly to patients. Zimmer Biomet is launching a clinical study to determine the Apple Watch app's impact on patient outcomes and overall costs for joint replacement patients. Knee and hip replacements are common surgeries with more than a million occurring each year in the United States. As part of the study, which will enroll up to 10,000 people, Zimmer Biomet says that patients will use the mymobility app on the Apple Watch as they progress through the hip or knee replacement journey. Patient reported feedback will be combined with health and activity data from the Apple Watch to see how the mymobility app impacts care. Apple's chief operating officer Jeff Williams said that with the Apple Watch and Zimmer's app, patients will be able to participate in their own care in ways not previously possible."We believe one of the best ways to empower

'AutoSleep 5' Brings Live Sleep Tracking to Apple Watch and iPhone X Support

Third party sleep tracking app AutoSleep reached version 5.0 on Tuesday, introducing a slew of new features and improvements, including iPhone X support and live sleep tracking on Apple Watch. With later models of Apple Watch benefiting from major improvements in battery life, many Watch owners now wear their device to bed. Despite this, Apple still doesn't provide a native sleep tracking feature in watchOS, which has allowed third-party apps like AutoSleep to step in and fill the void. While AutoSleep can track sleep quality and duration using just an iPhone, one of the app's biggest draws has been its Apple Watch component. Up until now, users had to sync the app to their iPhone to review calculated sleep metrics, but with AutoSleep 5, the Apple Watch app can now automatically track sleep without needing any help from an iPhone. With sleep independently calculated on their wrist, users have the ability to scroll through sleep quality rings, deep sleep stats, and recharge summaries using the Digital Crown or by scrolling with a finger. The Watch-based Lights Off feature, which lets users track how long it takes them to fall asleep, has also been rewritten. The progress display now has muted colors for viewing at night, and shows how much time the user has actually been asleep versus time spent just lying in bed. Back on the iPhone app, sleep detection is now considerably faster, while motion detection has been discontinued for users who wear their Watch to sleep, but remains an option for non-Watch wearers. The information screens have also been

Workouts++ 2.0 Brings Apple Watch Podcast Playback, Siri Integration, Location Tracking, and More

Free third-party fitness app Workouts++ got its 2.0 release on Tuesday, bringing a wealth of new features and improvements to the software, almost a year after its debut on iOS and Apple Watch. Users looking for an alternative to the native watchOS Workout app should find plenty to pique their interest in this update, which makes the most of new APIs available since the release of watchOS 4 and features a redesigned workout configuration system. Highlights include the ability to download podcasts to Apple Watch for playback during workouts, support for LTE streaming, GPS tracking and mapping, as well as Siri integration and a plethora of watch display customization options. The app also gains support for swimming and the display of VO2 Max values, additional stopwatch, elevation, average pace/speed and activity ring metrics for display during workouts, distance and duration alerts, plus a workout recovery feature in the event that the device's battery runs out during exercise. Workouts++ is a free download for iPhone from the App Store.

Key Stanford Medical Researcher Joins Apple's Health Team

Apple has hired the lead doctor of Stanford University's digital health initiative, Sumbul Desai, to take on an unspecified role in one of the tech company's health projects. The hire was rumored earlier this month, but Stanford Medicine confirmed it to Internet Health Management on Friday. Desai headed up Stanford's Center for Digital Health, launched by the university's School of Medicine in January 2017. The center's mission is to enhance Stanford's digital health initiatives by collaborating with technology companies and undertaking clinical research and education. The center also helped develop MyHeart Counts, a cardiovascular disease app built using ResearchKit in collaboration with the University of Oxford. Desai worked at Stanford since 2008, beginning as a resident physician of internal medicine, before holding numerous roles including: Medical director of strategic innovations, assistant chief of strategy, clinical associate professor, associate chief medical officer of strategy and innovation, vice chair of strategy and innovation, and chief for the Center of Digital Health. Apple has not revealed what role Desai will play at the company, whether she might join the team working on ResearchKit, HealthKit, and CareKit, or if she will work on an unrelated project. Apple has made several healthcare-related hires in recent years. In September it recruited Dr Mike Evans, a staff physician from St Michaels Hospital in Toronto and an associate professor of family and community medicine at the University of Toronto. Two months later the company also hired Dr

Apple Working With Health Gorilla to Offer Comprehensive Medical Records on iPhone

In its quest to turn the iPhone into a comprehensive health repository for every iPhone user, Apple has teamed up with Health Gorilla, a company specializing in aggregating diagnostic information, reports CNBC. Citing two sources familiar with Apple's plans, CNBC says Apple is working with Health Gorilla to add diagnostic data to the iPhone by cooperating with hospitals, imaging centers, and lab-testing companies. According to Health Gorilla's website, the startup offers a secure clinical network that aggregates health data from a range of providers, offering doctors and hospitals access to a comprehensive overview of a patient's health. While the service is aimed at medical providers, patients are also able to use the service to get a copy of their medical records "in 10 minutes." Access your complete health profile in one place, from prior medical history, to doctor and specialist referrals, to your latest test results. It's all available through Health Gorilla's secure clinical network, anytime - from your computer or your favorite device on the go. Thousands of physicians, specialists, labs, clinics, health centers, hospitals, and other facilities are already connected to Health Gorilla. Reach them easily, and securely share information with everyone in your care circle - whether medical professionals or family and loved ones.Last week, CNBC said Apple has a "secretive team" within its health unit that has been communicating with developers, hospitals, and industry groups with the aim of storing clinical data on the iPhone and turning it into a "one-stop

Apple Exploring Electronic Tagging Solution For Easily Tracking Dietary Intake

Apple is exploring an electronic tagging solution to make it easier for Apple Watch users to track their calorie and nutritional intake as part of a healthy lifestyle, as shown in a patent newly granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Many of today's healthy eating and diet-based food apps require users to manually input nutrition information into their mobile devices, whether by scanning barcodes with their phone's camera or inputting nutritional figures unit by unit. It's the sort of repetitive and time-consuming exercise that often causes users to give up on their diet-tracking, but Apple's invention offers a much more convenient solution. Titled "Electronic tag transmissions of custom-order nutritional information", the patent describes a system that allows food vendors to encode nutritional information into radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on the fly. The tags can be generated to accompany multiple-item orders at a food counter, as an attachment to the food packaging or as part of a purchase receipt. The tags can then be used to automatically transmit the nutrition data to the customer's NFC-capable device, such as an iPhone or Apple Watch. In one example detailed in the patent, an RFID tag combines the multiple variables that make up a customer's bespoke food order – such as the bread, cheese, meat, and sauces in a hamburger – to generate accurate nutritional information for the end user. Once these details are transmitted to the user's mobile device, a health monitoring app subtracts the numbers from a daily calorie intake limit as

Robotics and Machine Learning Expert Yoky Matsuoka Returning to Nest After Leaving Apple

Last May, Apple hired Nest's former Vice President of Technology, Yoky Matsuoka, to help run the company's health initiatives, but she ended up leaving Apple towards the end of 2016. Matsuoka is now joining the Nest team once again as the Alphabet-owed company has re-hired the robotics expert as the Chief Technology Officer for the Nest Learning Thermostat (via Bloomberg). In her new role, she will "define a long-term technology roadmap" for the smart home accessory company, using her expertise in machine learning. Matsuoka is also said to be encouraged by Alphabet to identify other companies under the corporate umbrella where Nest might be able to form a beneficial partnership through collaborations "on technology and product development." Alphabet Inc. re-hired Yoky Matsuoka to oversee technology at its Nest Labs Inc. smart home unit, snapping up the robotics and artificial intelligence expert after she recently left Apple Inc. As Chief Technology Officer, Matsuoka will work closely with Nest's engineering and product teams to define a long-term technology roadmap. She'll be responsible for identifying important enabling technologies for Nest products and services, such as sensors and machine learning, while partnering with outside companies. During her time at Apple, Matsuoka worked under the company's chief operating officer Jeff Williams, who is in charge of Apple's health initiatives like ResearchKit, HealthKit, and CareKit. Originally at Nest, Matsuoka developed the technology that lets the Nest Learning Thermostat adapt to environmental conditions and

Stanford Announces New Program to Discover 'Innovative Uses' for Apple Watch in Healthcare

Stanford University has opened up submissions to faculty members for an Apple Watch Seed Grant, an inaugural program "focused on innovative uses of the Apple Watch in healthcare" (via Cult of Mac). The program is designed to "stimulate and support" the creation of new uses for the Apple Watch in the healthcare field, an area that Apple has long been a proponent of since the wearable launched in 2015. In total, up to 1,000 Apple Watch devices will be offered through the seed grant program, which is being given $10,000 in funding and run through Stanford's all-new Center for Digital Health within the School of Medicine. The CDH's proposal notes mention that while 1,000 Apple Watches will be given out in total, depending on the project proposals that get accepted, a higher or lower allocation of devices may be provided. Submissions are open to a select group of Stanford faculty members and close February 26, while the study as a whole will run for one year beginning April 2017. The goal of the program is to use either the Apple Watch's activity tracking or communication features to see how the device can make a change in healthcare: "The Apple Watch must be integrated into an overall program or study design where: 1) the sensing capability of the Watch (activity, heart rate, and/or raw accelerometer data) is used to measure the progress of an endpoint relevant to the study population; or 2) the communication/notification features of the Watch are used to drive behavior change/coaching (investigators must use an iOS app with a Watch app extension or design a workflow

Apple Hires Duke Doctor on Forefront of Implementing HealthKit and ResearchKit

Apple has hired Duke's Dr. Ricky Bloomfield, one of the early proponents of both HealthKit and ResearchKit, for its health team, according to MobiHealthNews. The hiring was first announced by Dr. Bloomfield's colleague on Twitter and confirmed by Apple to MobiHealthNews. As Duke's Director of Mobile Strategy, Dr. Bloomfield helped Duke become one of the first hospitals to integrate HealthKit. Bloomfield has spoken about the benefits of HealthKit multiple times, like at 2014's mHealth Summit and announcing at a MobiHealthNews event that Apple was adding support for Health Level 7 Continuity of Care Document to iOS 10. Bloomfield, who created Autism Beyond, also helped Duke embrace ResearchKit, creating a study intended to find out how autism starts in children. The study uses an app that utilizes the iPhones camera to record children's reactions to short videos. The app analyzes the recordings and sends the data back to doctors to help tune the algorithm, with the goal to eventually let the app help parents screen children for autism, anxiety, or similar conditions. The new hire is just one of several for Apple's health team recently. In September, Apple hired Toronto doctor Mike Evans "to help chart the future of family medicine." Evans also has a popular YouTube channel, DocMikeEvans, where he narrates discussions about health over cartoon drawings. Apple has also hired Stanford doctor Rajiv B. Kumar, who has experience using HealthKit to help patients with diabetes, and Dr. Stephen Friend, who helped build the data infrastructure for many ResearchKit apps.

Apple Working to Transform HealthKit Into Diagnosis Tool Aided by New Apple Watch Apps

Apple has hired "scores of healthcare experts" in recent years to develop improved electronic health record software, with an ultimate goal of transforming HealthKit into a tool that improves diagnoses, reports Bloomberg. The system could chip away at two problems that plague the industry and have stumped other specialist firms in the field: interoperability -- allowing data to be transferred from hospital to hospital across different databases; and analysis -- making it quick and easy for physicians to extrapolate salient information from mountains of data.If the efforts are successful, HealthKit could eventually interpret health and fitness data and provide advice to patients, doctors, and others accordingly. The collection of health and fitness data will be aided by the Apple Watch, including two new apps that will help users track their sleep patterns and gauge their fitness levels by "measuring the time taken for the heart rate to fall from its peak to resting level," according to the report. "If you drive for a while and your car gets too hot, it says pull over. If you need an oil change, it says check your oil. What's the equivalent for the body?" said Apple CEO Tim Cook at Startup Fest Europe in May. "Health is a huge issue around the world and we think it's ripe for simplicity and a new view."

Apple Hires Toronto Doctor 'to Help Chart the Future of Family Medicine' With Apps

Apple has hired Toronto healthcare doctor Mike Evans "to help chart the future of family medicine" at the company, although the specifics of his role have not been disclosed (via CBC). Evans was said to catch Apple's attention through a series of videos he's posted on his YouTube channel, called DocMikeEvans, where he narrates discussions about health and mindfulness topics over cartoon characters. Evans previously held a position as a staff physician at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, and is said to already have started his "digital health care work" at Apple. For the time being, he plans to communicate between his home of Toronto and Cupertino, while his son finishes high school. Apple had already approached Evans about a position at the company, which he turned down the first time, but said he eventually was won over by the company's messaging. "I think why they are engaging me is the messaging," Evans told Matt Galloway on CBC's Metro Morning on Monday. "We're searching for consistency, not perfection." "It's exciting. It's a bit nauseating and anxiety-provoking. We love Toronto but it's a chance to live another chapter of our lives somewhere else. I'm super-excited." Evans' hiring also aligns with Apple's recent push into healthcare initiatives, especially with the doctor's beliefs on how technology can help with the treatment of sick individuals. Eventually, he sees a future where apps are "prescribed" to help guide patients through their prescription routine, diagnosis, and even diet, so as to balance out how little doctors see each patient

Apple Shares Five New Videos Promoting Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Apple has shared five new videos on YouTube today that promote healthy and active lifestyle choices, emphasizing the importance of a regular sleeping pattern, proper nutrition, taking moments to calm your mind, and staying active. The fifth video explains how these healthy habits are all connected. Apple Health - Sleep promotes the natural rhythm of going to bed at the same time and getting enough hours of sleep each night. Apple introduced a new Wake Alarm in the Clock app on iOS 10 that, when enabled, reminds you when it is time to sleep, tracks how many hours you slept, and provides detailed sleep analysis. Apple Health - Nutrition is centered upon eating healthy foods, and being aware of how much food we eat. The video emphasizes the importance of eating more real foods than junk foods. Apple says nutrition is not about eating perfectly, but rather about making better food choices "one bite at a time." Apple Health - Mindfulness explains how the human mind is not wired to be "always on," and encourages finding a few moments to take a few deep breathes to help eliminate day-to-day stresses. Apple Health - Activity is centered upon "sitting less, moving more, and getting some exercise" by "squeezing in a minute here and a minute there." Apple says being active does not explicitly require going to the gym, but rather simply finding enjoyable activities that get you moving throughout the day. Apple Health - Everything's Connected ties the first four videos together by explaining how small lifestyle changes can become healthy habits when you see how

Apple Acquires Personal Health Data Recording Platform 'Gliimpse'

Apple has acquired personal health and wellness startup Gliimpse, continuing its push into the health and fitness landscape that it began focusing on with the launch of the Apple Watch. The company made the acquisition earlier in the year, according to Fast Company, but Apple has now confirmed the purchase with its usual response: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." Gliimpse is a personal health platform that collects various fitness-related pieces of data for its users "to collect, personalize, and share a picture of their health data" at different stages of their personal journey. The company was funded by entrepreneur Anil Sethi and was founded in 2013, following Sethi's inspiration to create an easy way to track health data as he watched his sister battle breast cancer. Gliimpse™ began with a simple idea – everyone should be able to manage their health records, and share them securely with those they trust. Currently in stealth, Gliimpse is healthcare’s platform for building patient-centric apps. By unlocking hospital silos, we aggregate fragmented data into Medicare mandated patient summaries. Gliimpse is your personal health history, in the palm of your hands. As seen on the company's website, Gliimpse also lets users make daily journal entries to chronicle their emotional state of mind, track lab results, record levels of pain to inform a physician, and other privacy features that ensure each user's data stays secure. These features mark Gliimpse as a more healthcare-focused

Apple Working on New Health-Tracking Hardware for 2017

Apple is developing at least one new health-tracking product that could debut alongside the tenth-anniversary iPhone in 2017, according to Economic Daily News (via Mac Otakara). Exact details are hard to discern from the translated Chinese-language report, but Apple is said to have invested two years of R&D into the new product in it health laboratories overseen by Apple's health and fitness director Jay Blahnik. While entirely new hardware is possible, the product could realistically be a next-generation Apple Watch. The product is said to have an array of health-related apps that collect data such as heart rate, pulse, and blood sugar changes. Health and fitness has been a focus for Apple in recent years with ResearchKit, HealthKit, and the Apple Watch. In a recent interview, when asked what he believes the "next frontiers" will be when it comes to product development, Apple CEO Tim Cook highlighted health as "the biggest one of all."

Apple to Add Organ Donor Registration Option to Health App in iOS 10

Apple is set to give U.S. users of its mobile Health app a one-tap option to sign up as organ, eye, and tissue donors when the company releases iOS 10 this fall (via CNBC). The option to enroll in the national donor registry will be made available via a button in the operating system's native Health app, which allows users to view and manage their health and fitness data. Speaking to The Associated Press, CEO Tim Cook said he hoped the new option would help ease a longstanding donor shortage, a problem that hit home when Steve Jobs endured an "excruciating" wait for a liver transplant in March 2009. Cook reportedly offered to donate a portion of his own liver because the two men shared a blood type, but Jobs turned down Cook's offer and later received a full liver transplant. Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in October 2011, aged 56."Apple's mission has always been to create products that transform people's lives. With the updated Health app, we're providing education and awareness about organ donation and making it easier than ever to register. It's a simple process that takes just a few seconds and could help save up to eight lives," said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Together with Donate Life America, we're excited to deliver this new feature to iPhone users in the US with iOS 10."The U.S government is currently pushing an initiative to speed up the donor and matching service, while Facebook, Google and Twitter are also developing tools to achieve greater automation in the process, as part of their own public advocacy campaigns.

Apple Watch Leading to Healthy Lifestyle Changes Among Early Adopters

Less than four months after the Apple Watch launched, many early adopters are finding that the wrist-worn device has motivated them to make healthy lifestyle changes. From walking and exercising more often to making healthier choices and playing more sports, market research firm Wristly found that many Apple Watch buyers are taking full advantage of the wearable's health and fitness features. Greater than 75% of survey participants among Wristly's panel of nearly 1000 Apple Watch buyers indicated that they "Strongly Agree" or "Agree" that they have been standing more since receiving the Apple Watch. Similarly, 67% of participants agreed that they walk more, 59% agreed they make better health choices and 57% said they exercise more often with the Apple Watch. Early adopters are generally satisfied with the Apple Watch's health and fitness features, especially those included stock on the device. An aggregate 89% of survey participants were either "Very Satisfied" or "Satisfied" with the built-in Activity app, while around 80% were satisfied with the heart rate sensor and hourly standup reminders and just over 75% were satisfied with the Workout app. Jim Dalrymple of The Loop echoed similar sentiments in his Apple Watch review in June, in which he shared his personal story about losing 40 pounds using HealthKit and Apple Watch. After ten months of exercising, weight lifting and healthier eating decisions, Dalrymple lost four pant sizes and two shirt sizes, and the Apple Watch kept him motivated to reach his goals:Apple Watch furthered my transformation. I can

Apple Fitness Director Jay Blahnik Hosting Special Events at Asia-Pacific Retail Stores

Apple's Director of Fitness and Health Technologies Jay Blahnik is touring the Asia-Pacific region this week to host live Q&A sessions with popular personal trainers and other well-known icons at Apple Stores in Australia, China and Japan. The special events focus on the intersection of health, fitness and technology, such as how to live a better life by maintaining a healthy body and mind. Blahnik posing with personal trainer Michelle Bridges and a fan in Sydney (Instagram) Blahnik sat down with Australian personal trainer Michelle Bridges for a live Q&A session at the Apple Store in Sydney, Australia on May 29 before heading to the Omotesando Apple Store to speak with technology journalist Nobi Hayashi in Tokyo, Japan earlier today, as noted by Macotakara. Blahnik will now travel to Beijing for an event with Chinese action filmmaker Donnie Yen at the Apple Store in China Central Mall on June 3. Prior to joining Apple in July 2013, Blahnik was a Nike FuelBand consultant for almost 20 years and an award-winning fitness instructor and personal trainer. As health and fitness director at Apple, he has played an instrumental role in development of the Apple Watch, working in the company's top-secret health and fitness lab where it has collected over 18,000 hours of health and fitness data from employee workout