Apple’s restraint a welcome response to digital health hype

“When Tim Cook revealed the Apple Watch on September 9, 2014, many digital health champions were both surprised and disappointed by the relative lack of embedded health technology; based on the rumors that had been coming from Cupertino – and documentation of at least one meeting with the FDA – many of us had expected a bit more,” David Shaywitz writes for Forbes. “Monday’s Wall Street Journal explains what happened, and provides what may be an important cautionary tale for both digital health and the ambitions of big data in healthcare. ”

“According to the Journal, Apple executives originally ‘envisioned a state-of-the-art health-monitoring device,’ yet the watch the company plans to release in April includes none of the most exciting technologies the company was considering. The reason? ‘Much of the health-sensor technology failed to meet Apple’s standards,’ reports the Journal,” Shaywitz writes. “Let’s think about this for a minute. While all sorts of companies, big and small, are jumping into wearables, touting the potential to disrupt, transform, reinvent, and revolutionize health, Apple devotes four years and a huge amount of resource to exploring this space, then emerges with the conclusion that essentially, much of the technology isn’t quite ready for primetime.”

“You need to give a lot of credit to Apple for taking the long view of digital health. It must have been tempting to include some sexy health technology into the watch — and you know they could have sold it,” Shaywitz writes. “Yet, by holding the line on quality, and rigorously evaluating – and appropriately rejecting – candidate features, the company is demonstrating a respect for the customer that’s lacking in the many businesses — not all startups — rushing into this space with specious claims of efficacy and impact.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


    1. The above judgement is a homage to Alexander Pope. An English poet who wrote, “An Essay On Criticism. 1709”.
      The last line of the poem being, “For fools rush in where Angels fear to tread”.

  1. I’m sure Apple wanted to stuff a lot of extra technology into iPhone as well. Steve would have none of it. The exercise of restraint with Apple Watch has proven that his philosophy of discipline remains intact. It’s a product that would’ve earned his stamp of approval.

    All is well at Apple. Years from now, Watch 5, 6 and 7 will be able to proudly utilize many of those rumored features just as iPhone 6 was meticulously carved from nearly a decade of lessons and experience.

    1. This device was designed to be modular and highly customizable for the individual and not just in fashion, but I also think health and fitness and as such the sensor plate on the backside will be upgradable or interchangeable.

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