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Apple has its sights set on another industry ripe for reinvention: the mobile healthcare and fitness world. Apple currently plans to release a new version of the iPhone operating system this year with health and fitness tracking integration as its headline feature, according to sources briefed on the plans. Apple’s work on such an operating system likely indicates that Apple is nearing the introduction of its long-awaited, sensor-laden “iWatch,” which sources say is well into development…

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Fitness monitoring:

Apple plans for iOS 8 to include an application codenamed “Healthbook.” The software will be capable of monitoring and storing fitness statistics such as steps taken, calories burned, and miles walked. Furthermore, the app will have the ability to manage and track weight loss. The software will be a pre-installed challenger to offerings such as those from Nike and Fitbit, making it all the more intriguing that Apple CEO Tim Cook still sits on Nike’s Board of Directors.

Health tracking: 

Besides fitness tracking, a marquee feature of “Healthbook” will be the ability to monitor a user’s vital signs.

The application will be able to track a person’s blood pressure, hydration levels, heart rate, and potentially several other blood-related data points, such as glucose levels, according to our sources.

The software is also programmed to allow users to enter details about their medications so that they could be reminded to take pills at scheduled times. This will likely integrate with iOS’s existing Reminders application.

Last month, Apple executives Jeff Williams and Bud Tribble met with F.D.A. officials in the United States regarding health applications, as noted earlier today by the New York Times. However, actual details about what was discussed were not shared.

App interface:

The “Healthbook” application is said to take multiple user interface cues from Apple’s own Passbook app, which is software for storing loyalty cards, coupons, and other materials normally stored in physical wallets.

The new health and fitness application’s interface is a stack of cards that can be easily swiped between. Each card represents a different fitness or health data point. The prototype logo for “Healthbook” is similar to Passbook’s icon, but it is adorned with graphics representing vital signs.

Sources warn that the health functionality could ultimately be removed from iOS 8 before its scheduled introduction. Apple develops several features for future operating systems and then finalizes which features make the cut for the release closer to launch.

iWatch ties:  

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While current iPhone hardware is capable of measuring steps due to the recently introduced M7 chipset’s motion tracking abilities, the smartphone is incapable of measuring vital signs like blood pressure and heart rate. Apple has patented technology for smartphones to track blood pressure, but it is unlikely that it plans to add such functionality to its iPhone lineup this year.

Instead, Apple has likely developed this new version of iOS with the upcoming iWatch in mind.

Sources have previously indicated that Apple’s wearable computer will have sensors to track and measure aspects of the human body. “Healthbook” could be the conduit for users to read the data that the iWatch will collect. Indeed, sources with knowledge of the iWatch’s development say that the future product is designed to be heavily reliant on the iPhone.

Based on the health information that iOS 8 is capable of reading, Apple’s wearable device will seemingly have sensors at least capable of measuring blood pressure, hydration, heart rate, and steps. iOS 8 combined with the iWatch is said to be able to monitor several other pieces of health and fitness data, but additional specifics are not as clear as of now.

Sources also hint that Apple has developed technologies to be able to pack several different sensors into a single chipset for miniaturization purposes.

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As Cook said last year, “the whole sensor field is going to explode.” “It’s a little all over the place right now… with the arc of time, it will become clearer,” Apple’s chief added.

With iOS 8 likely to ship this year, a connection to the iWatch would seem to point to the wearable device also shipping in 2014.

Cook previously told Apple employees that “big plans” are on the roadmap for this year. Other than the speculation that emerges from Cook’s comment and Apple’s work on iOS 8, there has been little other indication that Apple plans to reveal its wearable product this year. Furthermore, another possibility, albeit a more unlikely one, is that iOS 8’s health functionality will be optimized for third-party health accessories in 2014 and Apple’s own hardware in future years.

A slew of blood pressure monitors, body weight scales, pedometers, heart rate monitors, fitness bands, and glucose meters that can connect wirelessly to iPhones already exist in the technology accessories market. Apple has even promoted these products in its online and retail stores. “Healthbook” could be a boon for the existing medical hardware market and make those devices more intuitive for end-users.

Hires:

Last year, Apple hired several health, medical, and fitness experts to work on these hardware and software projects. Some of the notable names include former Nike advisor Jay Blahnik and former Senseonics vice president Dr. Todd Whitehurst.

This year, Apple added Ravi Narasimhan from general medical devices firm Vital Connect and Nancy Dougherty from startup Sano Intelligence to its iWatch development team. We have also learned that Apple has also hired Michael O’Reilly, a former executive at Masimo Corporation who worked on noninvasive pulse sensors, last summer.

Apple VP of Technology Kevin Lynch, hardware executive Bob Mansfield, and senior hardware engineering manager James Foster are also said to be key players in the iWatch project.

Ski resort: 

Succeeding iOS 7, a major redesign of the Apple mobile device experience, iOS 8 likely will not feature major interface or graphics changes. There will be minor enhancements across the system, but none that are as noticeable as the changes introduced last year.

iOS 8 is codenamed “Okemo,” a popular ski resort in Vermont, U.S. This codename continues a long tradition of Apple internally naming iOS releases after ski resorts (Mac OS X releases are instead named after wines).

Apple has been actively developing enhancements to its Maps app, such as transit directions and indoor mapping, but sources say that development of an in-house transit feature is not moving along as quickly as some company leaders have hoped, and the feature is far from a lock for iOS 8. Sources also add that mapping functionality will be a focal point for the iWatch.

Game changers:

By leveraging the existing iPhone user base, Apple’s plans for a health and fitness-focused version of iOS and the potential of an advanced, sensor-packed wearable computer could allow it to re-invent yet another critical industry.

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82 Responses to “iWatch + iOS 8: Apple sets out to redefine mobile health, fitness tracking”

  1. rogifan says:

    Not crazy about this new device supposedly being heavily reliant on an iPhone. Would like a stand alone device that didn’t need an iPhone to be valuable.

    • From the sounds of it, it has plenty of self-standing functions of its own. If a person didn’t have an iPhone, I would think that they would an iCloud version of “Healthbook” so you could still categorize and see the results.

    • mikhailt says:

      And you’d be able to buy it from other companies. In this case, it’d be tightly integrated with the whole Apple’s ecosystem, which make sense.

      A light health/watch band that integrates with an iPhone that present a much better interface that covers all sort of health related information, into a fully integrated “Health Book”.

    • hmurchison says:

      It could be heavily reliant on iOS and iCloud. By supporting iCloud Apple would be able to support Window, Android and whomever they can with a standard web browser.

    • PMZanetti says:

      That’s not at all what I would want…or anyone who wants an iWatch for its destined purpose (not fitness).

      • towamp says:

        exactly my thoughts. Fitness is not a mainstream thing and will never be; I think the features mentioned by the article are the icing on the cake as there should be something ‘bigger’ than that.

      • Paul Allen says:

        Why do you think its “destined purpose” isn’t fitness? It seems increasingly likely that health/fitness is exactly what it’s destined to do.

      • Off course apple is changing that. They’re going to make the world’s middle class work out.
        Personally, I did not go running so often before I had the Nike+ app. By making it simple, apple might actually get people doing sports!

    • Paul Allen says:

      None of these health/fitness trackers are very useful on their own. They give you rudimentary data, but their full potential is only realized when the data is synced with a phone or computer. I’ve owned the Nike Fuelband, Fitbit and Jawbone Up.

      • PMZanetti says:

        Because, Paul Allen, its a new Apple product and Apple product category. It its primary focus is “fitness”, then its a failure before it even starts. And there is no chance that Apple will ever launch a failure new product. They are not stupid.

      • Do health and fitness apps/devices change behavior? I don’t know what the retention rates/”success” rates are for Fitbit/Jawbone, both of which I have used. But both changed my behavior…for a while. Then, without better understanding of my data, I got bored an slipped back into my old sedentary ways (with an added dose of guilt).

        Apple is very, very good at changing behavior, at resetting expectations for what technology can do. If anyone can create a much needed change in health and fitness, Apple can. My guess is Apple will create an API environment and build out the algorithms that combine data sets into meaningful, actionable information. So, we makers of apps and devices better start polishing up our data sets.

    • It ain’t gonna be a ring. Tim Cook made fun of that rumor on his last ABC interview.

    • Barry Wulfe says:

      Such a device will need to be heavily loaded with sensors and utilize minimal power to negate the need to constantly recharge the device. The processing needs to be offloaded to a separate device (Unless you like the idea of wearing an iPhone on your wrist). Apple isn’t investing in R&D for a device to help Android sales. They are creating an additional compelling reason for consumers to adopt their mobile platform. Google and others are free to design their own clones of Apple’s tech (They have certainly done it before).

    • You want an 800$ wrist watch?

  2. driverbenji says:

    what if it isn’t a watch, but an iRing, just has bluetooth LE, M8 chip & sensors, mic for voice commands, works only with other devices…it’s the remote for the new iTV, and sensor device for iOS devices? It would be inexpensive and desirable. I think the whole iWatch thing is a step backward, should be bypassed…why make a whole iOS device for the wrist when you can just use the ring for certain functions. An iWatch is silly, if you ask me.

  3. PMZanetti says:

    Fitness is a giant eye roll that Apple and bloggers alike need to come to terms with.

    • Paul Allen says:

      A giant eye roll? Really?? It’s one of the biggest industries out there. Billions are spent on fitness. I have personally spent well over $500 on three different health trackers (Fitbit, Jawbone Up and Nike Fuelband) not to mention an internet connected scale, and dozens of fitness tracking apps. With more than two thirds of America overweight I can’t imagine a more mainstream category than health and fitness. Wow.

      • rogifan says:

        Exactly. What is pointless to me are “smart” watches that do nothing more than send you text or calander notifications. I can easily pull out my phone for that.

      • The fact that 2/3 of Americans are overweight shows fitness is not something the mainstream cares about.

      • The rest of the world counted for 61% of Apple Revenues last quarter.
        I am a health nut myself, I practice yoga and train 5 days a week. I never had the urge to buy such a product and neither do the people I know. That may be a culture bias, but I can’t really see the opportunity to disrupt there.
        Now, if you say health care and not only fitness that would be a totally different story because it will include the majority of people.

      • Tallest Skil says:

        >> With more than two thirds of America overweight I can’t imagine a more mainstream category than health and fitness.

        The two halves of this sentence make absolutely no sense together.

    • What about health? That’s not important?

    • PMZanetti says:

      Paul Allen, stop misinterpreting your own poor choices with money spending as a successful industry (successful by the same measure as any Apple product category). Why in the hell would you spend that much money on those terrible products? If you need technology to control your habits and force you to stay fit….you have bigger problems that will not be solved by an Apple device.

      Much the same goes for over 2/3 of the U.S.

    • No kidding. Fitness cool market. Pretty small in Apple’s world. 51 million iPhones in one quarter tells me Apple’s vision is a bit different and it’s tied to broad appeal.

  4. acslater017 says:

    2014 could be the most interesting year for Apple since 2010

    • Hopefully! And looking back on it, 2010 was huge! The first iPad, a completely re-imagined iPhone, iWork for iOS, iBooks, iMovie for iPhone, Facetime, Retina displays, the 2nd gen Macbook Air, 3 new iPods, and the 2nd gen Apple TV.

  5. I would love to replace my garmin approach golf watch functionality with this iwatch as well.

  6. Juan Andrés says:

    I want fitness tracking that work in the gym.

  7. So does this mean that 9to5mac won’t have more details on fitness next week now? Or is there still more spade tails to tell next week from your sources?

  8. If the watch they release is amazing, they will convince me and everyone else that it’s worth owning an iPhone, when you already have an iPad. If competitors miss this boat, I could see everyone and their mother owning the iWatch, if they price it under I’d say $300 dollars.

    How do you check glucose levels and blood pressures on a watch? I have my doubts about that.

    • They said that Healthbook app will let you track glucose levels and blood pressure. It does not mean the sensors in the iWatch will do all the sensing on its own. LE bluetooth devices that sync and display information will be used in addition to the pulse, oxygen rate and other things the iWatch can monitor. Apple won’t want to kill off health device manufactures from making devices for the iPhone and iWatch.

    • Well, a watch is touching your skin, so you can put all the sensors right under it.

    • Barry Wulfe says:

      While many vital signs can be monitored via embedded sensors in a watch-style device; it sounds like Apple is deploying an Health/Fitness ecosystem. The iWatch (or whatever it is called … if it is released) would only be one part of the equation. If Apple is creating this “Healthbook” app for iOS; it seems reasonable that they would provide API’s for developers to integrate access into their own Apps. For blood-sugar monitoring; they could approach manufacturers of Glucose Monitors to include bluetooth connectivity and develop an app to transfer blood-sugar readings to the iPhone. On a larger scale; I can see an eventuality where manufacturers of insulin pumps (which to my understanding, do monitor blood-sugar levels constantly) could implement similar bluetooth / app integration and constantly update the iOS app.

      Imagine a scenario where your doctor can configure your apps to automatically transmit health monitoring details to him/her as a means of measuring your extended health; rather than the snapshots available during an office visit. If a vital sign is found to be in a life threatening range; the device could be programmed to automatically send an emergency alert to the Doctor, Emergency Services, Etc.

      The fact that Apple is talking with the FDA (if this report is accurate) indicates a serious attempt to move towards such a system. (Health related devices must receive FDA approval, prior to being sold in the United States.) Apple could always release the hardware with other functionality while awaiting final FDA approval; they would just have to hold back on medical device integration until such approval is granted.

  9. The fact that Apple had to meet with the FDA is GREAT news, and means that there’ll be some legitimate cutting edge health-tracking tech in the ‘iWatch’. Much like the iPhone, I see the iWatch combining 3 things into one great (and yes, revolutionary!) device:

    1: Smartwatch- much like the Pebble, it will give you all of your notifications and other quick info
    2: Fitness tracker- like the Fuelband/Fitbits, it’ll track steps, calories, distance
    3: And this is the BIG one, a health tracker, including all these sensors that the article mentions. Phones can give you notifications and track your fitness, so if you’re going to be wearing this thing on your wrist the whole time (as in, making skin contact) it may as well be for a good reason.

    When Apple enters a new product category, they usually to improve on things, and then add their own twist to it. There are smartwatches the track fitness, and there are fitness trackers that tell you the time, but while most of these products are excellent for their primary purpose, they’re not so great for their secondary one. So if Apple can make something that does both of these things just as well, and then throws in all that brand new health tracking tech, I think this thing could be a big deal. Plus, it’ll probably use iCloud to back up and sync all of your information to all of your iDevices and Macs.

    The biggest mystery for me is price. Apple could certainly get away with charging quite a bit since they could market it as 3 things in 1, and I’m sure those new health sensors will be pretty pricey at first, and also, it’s an Apple product. I’m thinking in the $200-$300 range and leaning more towards the latter, but the Gear got slammed for doing that last year…

  10. rottenbittenfruit says:

    Nice try by Apple but Samsung with help from Google’s Android OS will be able to produce devices at half the price Apple can. People are basically interested in only cheap devices and Apple doesn’t do cheap. I’m willing to bet the moment this story broke, Samsung started building a smart watch with every type of sensor known to man. Samsung loves stuffing as many features as possible into every device they make.

    • driverbenji says:

      The one samsung product I bought quit working just after the (short) warranty ran out…this gave me a very bad impression, probably won’t ever buy a samsung again.

      if people only wanted cheap devices, then all electronics would be junk. Stuffing features just for having the most/biggest only makes a bulky hunk of crap that weighs more than it needs to because it is cheaply engineered and has to have a bigger battery.

      People pay more for devices that work and work well. For devices that are slim, sleek and light. They don’t want to waste money or have time for things that tend to not work so well, and take up more space and are heavier than necessary. Customer service is also a concern and Apple is still the leader there. Also, apple products are built well and last longer.

      Just go back to when the electronics market was hit with the recession…unlike all the others, Apple wasn’t fazed at all as a business.

    • Hilarious, Samsung is almost ready to dump Android as soon as Linus is done with their OS.

    • Looking at the size of their watch without sensors, I doubt that.
      Also, iPhone has a higher market share than Android devices in the US. Nice try.

  11. tilalabubakr says:

    That’s good. It would be even better if there was a collaboration with NIKE and their nike-fuel.
    but fitness shouldn’t be the only thing that this watch will be capable to do.
    Siri, alarms n reminders, iOS notifications, Turn-by-turn (maps), remote control for Apple TV and iTunes, and many other things if added it’ll be great.
    One last thing that would be AWESOME is if it is to be using solar power. It’ll be a killer watch as it won’t be needing a daily connect-feeding.

  12. This is exactly what android has already done. Yet am enthusiastic to watch out whats new in the i-Watch. Apple as always will bring something new to the customers.

  13. Andrew Swan says:

    If they continue adding stock apps to iOS, Apple REALLY need to ease up and start allowing the removal of some of their apps. Healthbook sounds like a great move for iOS, but it’s definitely one of their more niche apps that they would possibly add. If it won’t be allowed to be removed, then that will be ridiculous.

    • Tallest Skil says:

      Or, you know, just put it in a folder and quit whining.

      • Andrew Swan says:

        That is what I do, until I was able to jailbreak again so I CAN hide the icons. Simply though, I like only being able to have apps on my phone that I WILL actually use at some stage.

        What’s wrong with having the option to uninstall though? There are some apps that I just don’t want on my phone, and I don’t even want to have to look at. It’s my phone, I don’t follow the stock market, why should I be forced to have the Stocks app installed? Passbook is utterly useless in Australia, next to no businesses have taken it up, and it’s been well over a year now since it launched, so why should I keep it if I can’t use it?

        Moving apps into a folder is not solving the problem, it’s just a workaround.

      • Tallest Skil says:

        >>What’s wrong with having the option to uninstall though?

        The same thing that’s wrong with wanting to delete QuickTime from OS X and then whining when the OS doesn’t work correctly. They’re protecting you from yourself.

        >>Passbook is utterly useless in Australia, next to no businesses have taken it up

        That sure is APPLE’S fault, now isn’t it?

      • Andrew Swan says:

        >>The same thing that’s wrong with wanting to delete QuickTime from OS X and then whining when the OS doesn’t work correctly. They’re protecting you from yourself.

        I understand that some apps wouldn’t be able to be safely deleted. For instance, the way things are, deleting Mail could be an issue if there is no way for other mail apps to be utilised when tapping an email address. But apps such as Voice Memos or Stocks would be harmless to delete.

        >> That sure is APPLE’S fault, now isn’t it?

        Never said it was. No need to start twisting my words now. I was merely suggesting the option that stock apps can be deleted. Statements like that make you sound completely ignorant. Next you want to tell me that Apple can do no wrong?

      • Tallest Skil says:

        >>Statements like that make you sound completely ignorant.

        No, statements like “I’m pretending that no retailers have done anything for it and therefore I should be allowed to delete it so that no retailer knows if I even have it so they don’t even do anything for it in the first place therefore I should be allowed to delete it…” scream of ignorance.

        Come on, man.

      • Andrew Swan says:

        Passbook IS practically useless in Australia. It’s much larger overseas than it is here. Apart from a few airlines taking it up, and the department store Myer using it for their gift cards, it’s practically non existent. It has potential, but businesses aren’t embracing it right now. Until that day comes where businesses start taking it up, I don’t see a need for it to be on my phone.

        All I suggested was that Apple should allow the option of removing some of their default apps. I was certainly not whining but your arguments have been pathetic and you’ve just come across as an arrogant fanboy who thinks that Apple can do no wrong.

      • Tallest Skil says:

        Keep living the dream, I guess. If you still can’t see why you’re wrong, you can just enjoy complaining to the wind.

    • rogifan says:

      Stick it in a folder and never use it, what’s so difficult about that?

      • Andrew Swan says:

        Copy and pasting my response from above….

        What’s wrong with having the option to uninstall though? There are some apps that I just don’t want on my phone, and I don’t even want to have to look at. It’s my phone, I don’t follow the stock market, why should I be forced to have the Stocks app installed? Passbook is utterly useless in Australia, next to no businesses have taken it up, and it’s been well over a year now since it launched, so why should I keep it if I can’t use it?

        Moving apps into a folder is not solving the problem, it’s just a workaround.

    • PMZanetti says:

      Actually they’re already doing customers a disservice, forcing them to get iBooks, iPhoto, etc. from the App Store.

      The only advantage to Apple Apps on the store is the ability to update them automatically OTA…but I don’t see any reason why Apple couldn’t do that for their built-in core apps.

      • Tallest Skil says:

        >>Actually they’re already doing customers a disservice, forcing them to get iBooks, iPhoto, etc. from the App Store.

        Quoted simply because it needs said again. I hate WordPress’ formatting.

  14. Please make it water resistant!!!

  15. I am a fitness and tech nut. I have a Nike Fuelband SE which I love, but I would rather have something else that has more functionality. I like the other fitness devices like Fitbit Force, but with the iWatch coming, it would be wise just to hold off. I am really looking forward to this functionality because the data that can be gathered on this has the potential to change the fitness game. 2014 will an awesome Apple year!!

  16. Good moves, but what good are fitness tracking apps and add-on medical monitoring devices if a brief cloud-burst wrecks an iPhone and invalidates the warranty? It’s a bit like making a boat with a hole in the bottom.

    Apple desperately needs to come up with a Sport model of the iPhone that can take abuse. And for medical staff and medics it needs to create a model with an extended battery life. Otherwise, there’ll be news stories of a patient dying because an iPhone ran out of juice. In a ER, it needs to be able to stand up to 12-hours of heavy use and being scrubbed down to rid it of blood, bodily fluids and germs.

  17. This sort of health technology has been in the works through Peter Diamandis’ Qualcomm X-Prize foundation for a while. Hope something similar to what he’s working on is incorporated into phones, because the technology is truly amazing.

  18. PMZanetti says:

    This pure obsession with fitness as a culture is really pathetic. Just LIVE your life for crying out loud. And by LIVE, I mean utilize common sense….stay reasonably active, don’t over eat, don’t poison yourself with an overload of genetically modified food…and you will be healthy.

    Then you’re free to spend your time actually living, rather than obsessing over some immeasurable moving target called “fitness”.

  19. Fitness is only one part of the iWatch dimension. Medical monitoring, in a broad sense, seems to break the mold. Look at recent hires. This is the differentiator. Why the FDA meetings if not? Aging population-smart move and builds as well as expands consumer spaces for ALL products.

  20. uniszuurmond says:

    Let’s look at the typical Apple product. Niche product that appeals to the general market. So much so that it not only appeals to new buyers, but also existing owners who upgrade. Now let’s look at a fitness product. Niche product that appeals to a niche market. They will sell, but will people buy twice? More than half of fitness products sold to individuals end up not being used, or not being used regularly. We all know Tim Cook is a fitness fanatic, is this a product for him or for the general consumer? I would love to be wrong on this one, but so far feel underwhelmed. One more thing. I’ve not had a watch for 15 years – it might not be an easy sell if it doesn’t appeal on many more levels than just fitness or being able to connect to my iPhone.

  21. I’m not so sure it is just one device? Not so sure Apple doesn’t want to “spread the love” into new sales opportunities outside of the Apple store? If we see a runway at a future Apple event we know the products will be really wearable fashionably. Imagine those models strutting the runway with wearables. Maybe there won’t be a runway until the guys in black run out an put it up in a grand style with that we hear “One more…” Recall a certain CEO that was hired awhile back out of the fashion industry

  22. And I do think being forced to use iBooks and so on will take the iCloud route of persistent applications that may only be accessed on pull up selection. Why not? When you control the persistence network you don’t need to be all visible all if the time make money selling apps and make more room. And you may not need an iPhone, iPad, touch or some other S yet unknown device may work as an operational hub for wearables You can be sure, however, that the iPhone will bring expanded functionality.

    The types hired that have been made over the last couple of years are pretty diverse and not just limited to medical. The Apple ecosystem(I hate that phrase) will expand not only with good execution and focused innovation, but also build on a near universal sense of style. Here those registers going at Nieman Marcus?

  23. Dru Morgan says:

    As a medical student I still remain skeptical that Apple will be able to develop a solution capable of measuring blood glucose levels without drawing blood or requiring the patient to have a sensor injected under the skin. I feel like if this were capable without those things the medical business machine would have developed it long ago.

    There’s simply too much variability in my eyes. Varying levels of pigmentation, dirty wrists, sweaty wrists, and so on. Pulse oximeters measure oxygen saturation by detecting levels of hemoglobin as a function of color changes at low pressure and high pressure (correlating with your cardiac output). Glucose doesn’t have that property – it’s a monosaccharide sugar that’s dissolved in the blood stream. I can’t for the life of me understand how a sensor through the skin is going to detect its’ levels accurately. Bluetooth integration with a glucose monitor or insulin pump, however, would be far more reasonable a thought.

    Also, along those lines, I have been following the implantable sensor news for quite some time and to my knowledge there does not exist an FDA approved solution. Unless Apple has been secretly working on an iGlucose sensor that’s injected with a hypodermic needle it seems there’s still human trials and much more standing in the way of measurement at the fluid level. Further, I’m not sure how many patients would be willing to take the risk of implanting a sensor under their skin. I would be apprehensive to recommend my patients do so. Any foreign object in the body has the potential to cause serious issues. Especially at the wrists.

    This also seems a risky business move to me. Perhaps the software glitches and a Type 1 Diabetic patient, who relies on it for measurement, finds him or herself without an alert that glucose is high or low. Suddenly the patient finds themselves lethargic or in a state of dangerously high glucose levels. It would seem Apple is taking on tremendous liability with this market. If I were an investor I would be questioning whether or not it’s worth it.

    All that said… the first company who comes up an FDA approved, accurate, moderately inexpensive method of monitoring blood glucose without daily finger sticks… will gain tremendous market strength. I feel like Google’s contact lens has been the most intriguing idea thus far. And I’m certainly an Apple fanboy at heart.

  24. Health & Fitness is a good market, but Apple seems to want to define a niche that will have general appeal. The iPad is, of course, an excellent example. Another seemingly more insignificant one is the fingerprint ” button” that defines a significant achievement, though not always recognized at first. The latter has more to do with current products and differentiation. The former is more likely the interest. Cook in his response in another venue, hosted by Walt Mosberg, spoke of wearables and not embrace a “watch” per se, this coupled with the hire of a fashion CEO almost two years ago speaks fashionable wearables. This is why I say multiple devices. Likely the interdependence between devices only expands functionality, not required purchase of all of them. I’m still convinced it is more than one device because of various functions that could be appropriately used based on consumer choice. Again, a defining category that defines a new market, rather than “one size fits all device”. Why sell just one product when you can sell two or three that integrate very tightly, but not dependent. iWatch, I suspect, is a big part of those products. What the others are? I believe not just style, but fashion will play a role, but not to the point wearables are very quickly dated, every year or so makes sense and/or new wearables introduced as well to expand functionality.

  25. RP says:

    Looks like the iPhone is going to continue to charge ahead of Android. …at least until they copy and match the features.

    • I’m still interested in why Apple hired a fashion industry CEO and brought him into their inner circle? Still I believe a wearable has to have a sense of fashion and style that is different simply the well crafted stylish other Apple products. I still think it is possible we are looking just one product that the possibility of two or more does make sense. The other thing is the secondary sale of services for new device(s). This seems to a slowly growing trend. Various monitoring services could be structured that way.

  26. nonyasip says:

    That photo of a woman in dance class, is that from any apple ad?

  27. John Murphy says:

    This is really good if not crazy. Developing something new and exciting is always challenging. I am sure professionals who are new in iOS development are ready to take such challenges and create something fresh, innovative and useful for us, end users.

  28. losknows says:

    i’m almost certain this device will feature Nike+ compatibilities. i don’t see the Nike/Apple relationship ending anytime soon.

  29. This is the real target market for remote health monitoring and proactive health management.

    Think “chronic care” not “wellness” and it all makes a bit more sense.

    Heart Disease and Stroke: $432 billion/year.5
    Diabetes: $174 billion/year.6
    Lung Disease: $154 billion/year.8
    Alzheimer’s Disease: $148 billion/year.7

    • I agree that health & fitness is an important field, but I think Apple wants more. Chronic conditions are certainly a much larger target. The question is, does Apple want to assume the liability for such devices? I doubt it. So my thinking is there must be a middle ground. Considering new components in the 5s that can provide part of the fitness needs, I still think we are looking at more than one device. iPhone 5s and above, iWatch and some other device.

  30. Sorry Apple, but the trademark and domain name Healthbook is taken (http://healthbook.com/), contact me for a licensing deal :)

  31. I am waiting for the ios 8…

    Every day I go for morning walk so I am eager to see how much calories are burned

  32. swati sharma says:

    Amazing concept with health tracking and integration… Awesome. I saw some more features of Apple iOS 8 on http://digispiders.com/apple-ios-8/