“Apple is getting set to move to its next stage of growth with a wearable health-monitoring device, hoping to establish a solid foothold in the promising healthcare sector,” Yuichiro Kanematsu reports for Nikkei. “The U.S. firm said Thursday at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference that it will this autumn bring to market an upgraded mobile operating system for smartphones and tablet devices.”

“The new watch-like wearable gear will run on this OS, which will be equipped with a centralized function to manage users’ biometric information via smartphones. It is expected to hit the market in October,” Kanematsu reports. “Though the details of services have yet to be released, specs for the new product are being finalized, according to industry sources. It will likely use a curved organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touchscreen and collect health-related data, such as calorie consumption, sleep activity, blood glucose and blood oxygen levels. It will also allow users to read messages sent by smartphones.”

“Apple appears confident of the new product. According to a parts manufacturer, it plans monthly commercial output of about 3-5 million units, which exceeds the total global sales of watch-like devices last year,” Kanematsu reports. “This confidence is backed by its partnerships with high-profile hospitals — it has teamed up with the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic, U.S. health institutes based in Minnesota and Ohio, respectively, to develop specific ways of analyzing the collected data and applying it to actual health management. Apple is also in partnership with Nike. According to sources familiar with the matter, the two companies have likely agreed to integrate their services in the future. The sports equipment maker is expected to eventually pull out of the device business to concentrate on services.”

“Apple is well-positioned to come up with an easy-to-use product due to its design-focused development capabilities. In addition, the new OS is designed to manage health-related data collected through platforms developed by other companies,” Kanematsu reports. “Apple expects linking to health-monitoring apps offered by others to gain access to massive amounts of data, such as heart rates, blood pressure, sleep cycles and calorie consumption. Though handling personal data requires due consideration, the analysis of big data can allow it to collaborate with a range of businesses in the fields of insurance, medicine, preventive services and advertising.”

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MacDailyNews Take: Confidence.

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