Health ▪ October 9

AAPL: 112.12

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Health accessories for iPhones, iPads, and iPods have become more numerous and diverse over the years, evolving from Apple’s early Nike+ run sensors to heart rate monitors, increasingly complex Wi-Fi scales with body fat and ambient room sensors, blood pressure cuff docks… and even Bluetooth toothbrushes. Some health accessories are undeniably useful, but others raise the question “why?” — why pay more to see my weight on an iPhone rather than the scale’s built-in screen? Why track daily tooth brushing, body fat percentages, or the humidity of one’s bathroom? People survived for thousands of years without charting every seemingly minor blip on their personal radars.

My perspective changed last month when my wife was diagnosed with a serious cardiac condition. One of those “seemingly minor blips” that can now be constantly monitored is your heartbeat, and when something’s wrong with your heart, advance knowledge literally makes the difference between living or dying. As it turns out, a San Francisco-based company named AliveCor is now on its third-generation version of an iPhone accessory that helps people with cardiac conditions. The AliveCor Mobile ECG ($75) is an FDA-approved electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor that can record and share your heartbeat directly from your iPhone. Measuring roughly 3.2″ by 1.3″ by 0.2″, Mobile EGC can self-attach to your iPhone’s back, or integrate with a bundled custom iPhone 6/6s case for only $80 (there’s an iPhone 5/5s case, too). Given my family’s sudden need for quick access to ECG data, keeping it with an iPhone makes sense, as this is an accessory we’ll want to have on hand whenever it may be needed…

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Health ▪ October 6

AAPL: 111.31

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Sleep tracking accessory maker Beddit is out with a new watchOS 2 app for Apple Watch today. Because Beddit offers a dedicated sensor for tracking your sleep duration and quality each night, Apple Watch is able to charge overnight as needed and still present sleep data in the morning. Thanks to hardware access granted to native software, Beddit’s watchOS 2 app lets Apple Watch double as a sleep tracker during the day for measuring naps and creating silent alarms. Just as Beddit’s watchOS 2 app is hitting the App Store, Beddit’s Smart Sleep Tracker is coming to Apple Stores around the world and for the first time starting today… expand full story

Health ▪ October 2

AAPL: 110.38

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Whenever someone asks what I think of my Apple Watch, I explain that I like but don’t love it, and wouldn’t recommend it to everyone… yet. “In two or three years,” I say, “they’re going to be common, but right now, they don’t feel necessary.” Nice, yes. Necessary, no.

Last week, my life changed. Shortly after our kids went to school, my wife stopped breathing in our home. I was able to get her breathing again, and thanks to 911 and outstanding EMTs, she survived to be diagnosed with Brugada Syndrome, a rare heart condition that typically goes undetected before a massive, fatal attack. Once Brugada was suspected, doctors looked for records of her heartbeat, but couldn’t find much on file. Between ER and ICU visits, I remembered that her iPhone’s Health app contained three months of heart rate data, because her Apple Watch had been passively recording it. But would that data actually be useful?

report earlier this year said Apple has wavered on adding irregular heart rate reporting and other health functionality to the Apple Watch, fearing additional governmental regulation and/or liability for potentially inaccurate results. Given what my wife just went through, I have a newfound appreciation for the Apple Watch’s existing heart rate sensor, and a strong request for Apple: be bold on expanding Apple Watch’s health features, as well as its ability to be continuously worn. It’s nice for a watch to estimate calories burned after a workout, but merely having advance notice of her irregular heart rate could have prevented my wife’s near-death experience, and who knows how many other lives better sensors could save…

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Health ▪ August 26

AAPL: 109.69

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Congrats, iPhone owners: Popular online food ordering service Eat24 has determined that you are healthier than users of Google’s Android. That’s based on data it collected from its mobile app over a three month period, tracking information regarding how ordering habits differed across the rival platforms.

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Health ▪ August 5

AAPL: 115.40

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Health ▪ July 29


I asked back in May whether you thought the Apple Watch Activity app would lead to a leaner, fitter you. At that point, more than 80% of you said that it either would or already had.

A Wristly survey yesterday suggested that the reality perhaps hadn’t quite lived up to this promise, but still contained some pretty impressive numbers. More than 50% of Watch owners said that they were exercising more and were making better health choices, with around 40% reporting weight loss.

For those of us who were lucky enough to take delivery of our Apple Watches on day one, we’re now three months in. Plenty of time for the novelty to wear off – and to see whether the anticipated benefits really have shown up on the bathroom scale, in our waistlines or in the gym …  expand full story

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