Update to Apple Watch OS 1.0.1 leading to less frequent heart rate monitoring

heartrate

Apple’s update to Watch OS 1.0.1 was intended to improve the performance of several fitness-related functions, but also appears to have introduced a bug. Instead of the Apple Watch recording your heart rate every ten minutes, many users – including myself – are seeing large gaps in the data.

My readings for yesterday afternoon and evening, shown above, contain four gaps of more than an hour. Two of these gaps span times when I was cycling, when the data would have been most relevant. Users in an Apple Support Communities thread (via EverythingCafe) are reporting the same thing …  Read more

Poll: Will the Apple Watch and gamification lead to a leaner, fitter you?

gamification

Social sharing of exercise data, using services like Strava and RunKeeper, has been one of the bigger trends in recent years. Thanks to fitness bands, smartwatches and GPS-based cycle computers, it’s easy to capture your exercise data and have it automatically uploaded, allowing friends and strangers alike to take part in virtual competitions. It’s effectively gamification of our bodies.

While some take it extremely seriously – so much so that Strava has had to allow users to mark stretches of road or path as dangerous, to stop overly-competitive cyclists mowing down pedestrians in their quest to gain a coveted King of the Mountain award – for most it’s just a fun way to get a bit more exercise and tease their friends.

Any fitness band enables you to compare things like total steps and total calories expended, of course, but the Apple Watch makes it particularly easy to create informal competitions, with yourself or others, to maximize the exercise you get in your everyday life …  Read more

ResearchKit Asthma app developer praises framework in first official blog post

researchkit-future

Apple’s ResearchKit platform debuted earlier this year alongside iOS 8.2 and has been gaining traction ever since then. Today, LifeMap Solutions, a company taking advantage of ResearchKit, posted the first official entry on Apple’s official ResearchKit blog. In the post, the company discussed its launch of Asthma Health, which was one of the inaugural apps built on ResearchKit.

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Apple SVP Jeff Williams to speak at the Code Conference later this month

Williams

Re/code regularly gets Apple executives to appear at its annual conferences and this year is no exception. The site announced that Apple’s Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams will speak at the Code Conference 2015, which runs May 26 to May 28th. Re/code’s speaker appearances typically take the form of an interview, so you can expect the executive to give some insight on Apple’s latest announcements (Apple Watch) although naturally major feature announcements will not be discussed. The WWDC keynote will serve as Apple’s platform to feature its newest advancements in iOS and OS X, which is held on June 8th.

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Apple confirms tattoo issue with Apple Watch in updated support document

tattoo

Apple has confirmed reports of problems using the Apple Watch on tattooed wrists. The company has quietly updated a support page on the heart-rate functionality.

Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance. The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings.

Apple Watch owners on Reddit and Twitter have been posting conflicting reports and video, some showing that the heart-rate functionality works fine with their tattoos, others showing either no reading at all or erratic readings …  Read more

Apple Watch teardown reveals pulse oximeter, suggesting future measurement of blood oxygen

pulse-oximeter

iFixit’s teardown of the Apple Watch has revealed that the sophisticated heart-rate monitor used is actually capable of acting as a pulse oximeter, allowing it to calculate the oxygen content of your blood by measuring how much infrared light is absorbed. This data would be useful for health and fitness monitoring, but the functionality is not currently enabled in the watch.

As iFixit notes, there are a couple of possible reasons Apple is not currently allowing to watch to display this data …  Read more

Apple airs three new Apple Watch ads: ‘Rise’, ‘Up’ and ‘Us’

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 09.52.35

In coordination with the Watch’s worldwide release, Apple has ramped its marketing campaign further with three new ads that are airing starting today. The ads titled ‘Rise’, ‘Up’ and ‘Us’ focus on everyday activities being enhanced by the Watch. Unlike some of Apple’s product-focused marketing, this is more in the style of iPad commercials.

The ‘Rise’ ad focuses on morning activities, such as using the Watch to wake you up or answer text messages in the breakfast queue. ‘Up’ is focused on the Workout and Activity apps, highlighting the ‘Stand’ notifications and related fitness features. ‘Us’ focuses on communication highlighting Digital Touch sketch, tap and heartbeat sharing features as well as the controversial animated emoji.

All three videos are embedded after the break …

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One Drop for iPhone & Apple Watch is a dashboard & community for managing diabetes

The iPhone has become a mature platform for health and fitness software in recent years, especially since iOS 8 introduced HealthKit and the dedicated Health app followed by ResearchKit and a new set of medical apps. Today a new app called One Drop is launching with an ambitious goal: to help people with diabetes live a happier and healthier life. Read more

Apple’s open source ResearchKit framework for medical researchers is now available

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 11.06.45 AM

Apple announced today that its new ResearchKit platform is now available to medical researchers as an open source framework. Apple first unveiled ResearchKit on stage last month during the March event, promising that it would be available as an open source framework for developers and medical researchers this month. The framework enables the medical community to use the iPhone to distribute actual medical and health research through ResearchKit-enabled apps. Read more

IBM announces new partnership w/ Apple for HealthKit & ResearchKit data

Apple CEO Tim Cook with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty

Apple CEO Tim Cook with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty

IBM this evening has announced a new dedicated health unit that will deepen its relationship with Apple. The service, called Watson Health, will use the data collected with Apple’s HealthKit and ResearchKit services to provide information to various other companies including Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic. From there, those companies can integrate the data into services they offer to healthcare companies. Apple will work to integrate Watson-based apps into HealthKit and ResearchKit for these purposes (via Forbes).

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Apple Watch gains pill reminders, doctor consultations & more from a dozen new healthcare apps

As Apple continues to approve more Apple Watch apps following the device going up for pre-order late last week, a long list of healthcare companies are showing off apps for the Apple Watch at the HIMSS 2015 conference this week in Chicago.

Inlcuded are apps from HCSC, WebMD, Kaiser Permanente, Dexcom, HealthTap, Vocera and many others, enabling everything from health records for patients to medication reminders and continuous glucose monitoring on the Apple Watch. Head below for a full list of healthcare apps for Apple Watch on show: Read more