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Apple Looking To Strengthen Wearables Dominance

2 weeks, 2 days ago

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Posted on Nov 05, 2019, 4 p.m.

The tech giant Apple is looking to continue its drive towards dominance in the health wearables market by hiring another leading cardiologist Daivd Tsay, professor of cardiology at Columbia University Medical Center, who joins Alexis Beatty previously of the University of Washington.

Healthcare spending exceeds $3.5 billion in America alone, Apple and others from BigTech are demonstrating an interest in monitoring health and the ability to detect problems before they become too late. With so many consumers affected by heart disease around the globe the financial gains in health wearables could be enormous, especially if health outcomes can be significantly improved. The recent acquisition of Fitbit by Alphabet demonstrates the competition for dominance in this sector is increasing.

Apple is not the only BigTech keeping an eye on cardiology pulse, Maulik Majmudar recently joined Amazon, and Google’s parent company Alphabet brought cardiologist Dr, Jessica Mega into its life sciences company Verily. Facebook also added interventional cardiologist Dr. Freddy Abnousi to the team as Head of Healthcare. 

“This is a fascinating move that signals how all the big tech players, like Amazon, Google and Apple, understand that the most prevalent disease in the world is heart disease. It’s one of the greatest places where technology can have an impact, in diagnosing and screening for these diseases,” says Vic Gunditra, CEO of AliveCor.

It is no surprise that BigTech is targeting heart disease along with stroke avoidance and blood pressure as it is the world’s number one cause of death. There is a raft for existing data for heart conditions, if smart technology can identify problems in individuals it will add to the data which may allow machine deep learning technology to improve algorithms. 

Apple’s tech monitors heart rates and comes with an electrocardiogram which can detect heart rhythm irregularities. Verily’s tech can be used for scalable data collection in clinical studies tracks heart rates and rhythms. Google fit team members worked closely with the American Heart Association during remodeling. Amazon’s Echo Loop smart ring as of yet does not monitor the wearer’s health but a spokesperson said they would “be interested to know if fitness tracking is a feature customers would like to see in future updates or releases.” Biofourmis’s AI digital wearable uses biomarkers to predict heart failure up to 14 days before an incident. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook says, “We will be continuing to build out our health records connection into the health app… my view is there will be a day in the future that we look back and Apple’s greatest contribution will be to people’s health.”

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