Monday, February 3, 2014

FDA Meetings Point to a Fitness-Oriented iWatch from Apple

No one is sure, but this concept for the iWatch looks good as any
The long-rumored iWatch that Apple has been planning never materialized in 2013, as tech-watchers had been predicting. Though Apple has a long history of inventing a product that consumers had no idea they needed, then convincing them they can't live without it, maybe the Cupertino giant was waiting to come up with a reason that makes the watch something indispensible.

Now it looks like the killer app that makes the iWatch into something worth having has something to do with fitness and medical monitoring.  FDA meetings this month with Apple suggest that the new gadget will be capable of monitoring everything from blood pressure and hydration to blood glucose levels, and then immediately transferring the data to a user's phone and computers for constant trackiing and analysis.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
ArsTechnica

Link to article:

Excerpt: "Of all the Apple rumors to circulate during the Tim Cook era, the "iWatch" has been one of the most persistent. The rumors kicked off a year ago, when the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both reported on Apple's internal smartwatch experimentation. Shortly afterward, Bloomberg reported that Apple had a team of as many as 100 product designers iterating on different versions of the watch and that it might run a version of iOS when finally released. (Rumors that we'd see the watch in 2013 didn't pan out as you may have noticed.)

Now the New York Times is throwing more fuel on the iWatch fire, citing a mid-December 2013 meeting between FDA officials and Apple employees about "mobile medical applications" as evidence that Apple is still pursuing a smartwatch-like device with "health-monitoring" applications. The Times cites the prominence of the people involved as a sign that this was not just a run-of-the-mill meeting. On Apple's side, the list includes SVP of Operations Jeff Williams; VP of Software Technology Bud Tribble; VP of Worldwide Government Affairs Cathy Novelli; Michael O'Reilly, who was previously Chief Medical Officer at a medical technology company called Masimo; and Government Affairs staffer Tim Powderly. The FDA participants were Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, and Legislation Sally Howard; Center for Devices and Radiological Health director Jeff Shuren; Senior Policy Advisor Bakul Patel; and Policy Analyst Jeff Shiffman. 

The Times article was followed shortly afterward by a report from the generally well-sourced 9to5Mac, which claims Apple is working on a built-in application called 'Healthbook' for iOS 8. According to 9to5Mac's sources, Healthbook will take visual cues from the existing Passbook application, and it will be capable of monitoring and tracking 'blood pressure, hydration levels, heart rate, and ... glucose levels' among other things. The app will be able to track weight loss and remind users when they need to take their prescriptions."

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