Thursday, 11 September 2014

Apple Watch - a sub-standard health wearable?

Amidst all the hype, there was an interesting take on the Apple Watch from one expert.

Although Apple hasn't revealed full details about HealthKit and how it will integrate with the watch - which won't be out until early 2015 anyhow, Niharika Midha, who covers medical devices for GlobalData called the Apple Watch a "robust offering".

But noted its, "health and fitness trackers are largely dependent on the iPhone's WiFi and Global Positioning System capabilities, which is a considerable drawback in comparison to other vendors.

"For example, the Samsung Gear S has a built-in GPS and can be used to track activities without requiring connection to the handset."

Indeed, GPS seems to be surprising omission, as many sports watches have this feature as standard. It seems unlikely size would be an issue, although the impact on battery life might be.

"At present, the product is not substantially superior to existing devices in terms of health tracking mechanisms," Midha comments, although adding that presumably Apple will make a watch with standalone GPS functions at some point.

Indeed, when it comes to dedicated medical wearable devices, it's not even clear that a watch configuration would be optimal.

"Google's development of smart contact lenses targeted towards monitoring glucose levels in diabetic patients is potentially groundbreaking," he notes. 

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