Wowed by Apple Watch’s ECG? Wait ’til you see what’s next

“Apple’s newly developed ECG reading tool on Apple Watch may or may not gain approval for use outside of the U.S. fast, but the life-saving feature is just one of many health tools the company is developing as wearable tech unlocks the future of healthcare,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld.

“The iPhone maker is one of a very small number of companies in the world equipped with the multi-disciplinary resources it takes to create new health sensors inside mass-market consumer electronic devices,” Evans writes. “It takes a huge team of people and a great deal of time, money, and experience to bring just one health-related product innovation to market.”

“Apple is exploring multiple ways in which wearable sensors and machine intelligence can help improve lives,” Evans writes. “These include: A feature that lets the watch measure respiration rate. At least two blood pressure patents. A patent on a sunscreen detector… Everyone and their dog must by now have heard the whispers Apple plans to develop its own diabetes monitoring tools…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Smart insurance companies – health and life – are already using or exploring ways to use Apple Watch to lower rates for wearers who exercise and more. This market is primed for rapid growth. The more useful Apple can make Apple Watch in terms of health monitoring, the better!

New initiative offers free accidental death insurance to Apple Watch owners – September 28, 2018
Apple and Aetna hold secret meetings to bring Apple Watch to the insurer’s 23 million members – August 14, 2017
In major win for Apple, Aetna becomes first insurance company to subsidize Apple Watch – September 27, 2016
New ‘SweatCoin’ iPhone app pays people to get fit – May 5, 2016
Why you’ll wear an Apple Watch to keep your job – March 14, 2016
Share your fitness data for an Apple Watch – or cash – March 2, 2016
Tim Cook hints Apple might build a health device – November 10, 2015
Apple should double down on Apple Watch’s health sensors, battery life, and waterproofing – October 2, 2015
Health insurer will charge more for lazy people, less for active people, based on Apple Watch sensors – September 18, 2015


  1. Someone I know just enrolled in a clinical trial of measuring blood pressure with an  watch. Have to measure blood pressure every day to correlate with the reading from the watch. Got a free watch as part of the trial!

    1. You will have to explain that a little more. The Apple watch can not measure blood pressure by itself. It requires a device such as cuff or a FDA approved monitor that connects through an app on your iPhone or watch. The watch itself does not possess the capability to measure blood pressure with no add on devices. There are devices like QardioArm that will accomplish. That person you know may be involved in a test to measure the accuracy of such a device, but that’s as far as it can go right now. Maybe series 5 will add that capability, but up to and including series 4 it’s a no go.

      1. Got more information from the informed consent:

        The sponsor of the study, Apple, Inc. (”Apple”) develops devices such as Apple Watch and iPhone that include sensors designed to enable fitness tracking and health experiences. These can be utilized to measure a variety of physiological and contextual data, such as the number of steps taken, stand hours, heart rate, heart rate recovery, and other activity data.

        The purpose of this research study is to use sensor data from mobile devices and wearables, along with surveys, blood pressure monitoring, and your health and genetic information, to understand the relationship between sensor data and different health outcomes. This study is not to provide any treatment, but rather to collect information for research and product development purposes.

  2. Whatever happened to Apple and Aetna’s secret meetings to bring AppleWatch to those 23 million Aetna clients? Not much. Apparently, not much came of those meetings. Apple should have been trying to woo all major insurance companies and maybe they would have convinced one of them. Apple will never have the persuasive power that Jeff Bezos gives Amazon to win over companies and dominate markets.

    1. the problem is jeff bezos makes cheap products for the consumer who doesnt care about details. not to mention amazon doesn’t have ~50 million people already wearing devices as we speak and an installed base of over 1.2 billion devices. To put that into perspective apple has a device in 1 in every 7 people in the worlds hands already,. this is an insurmountable lead/gap that amazon cannot overcome and in all honesty should not even try. Wearables is not their forte even if you think products are their forte. What they do is make money off other people using their platform to sell goods. Most of what amazon sells themselves is minimally profitable so they are more like a google or facebook than an apple imho. Im sure apple could get every insurer to sign up to provide apple watches but then they would be selling them to them at a discount vs selling full retail to customers. What we are seeing however is many insurance companies offering lower premiums or the ability to get credit back for the watch if it is worn and shows a healthy active individual. Bottom line apple could do it in a heartbeat if they wanted to or thought it was imperative to their end goal…. they have enough money to b uy an insurance company and offer it as a service alongside of it…. the fact of the matter is they dont need/want to do it and therefore here we stand.

    2. Hmmmm.
      And regarding MDN’s take:
      “Smart insurance companies – health and life – are already using or exploring ways to use Apple Watch to lower rates for wearers who exercise…”

      Well not to “lower” rates for Apple Watch owners, but rather to INCREASE rates for non-Apple Watch owners.
      There’s a difference.

  3. Apple’s taken a lead that will be difficult to overcome. Look at how long they have been investing in health care, spending money that many companies would not have the courage to spend, and bringing together talent and knowledge from many fields and the long term commitment needed.

    Apple also was ready to ride the wave when technology and medical knowledge came together and riding it they are. Look at what5 us patients need Apple to deliver on. Diabetes, PulseOx for COPD, Asthma. And the list will continue to go on.

  4. Well maybe . . . but first we need to see the ECG app which is hanging fire somewhere. I have the Kardia ECG pad and I’m not sure how Apple can improve on it other than perhaps provide free historical readings.

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