Apple’s FDA-cleared Apple Watch band underlines its growing healthcare focus
Apple is increasing its focus on the healthcare sector. With Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams recent comments to CNBC, explaining that “the future of medicine involves the patient at the centre of the health experience armed with data,” the company is seeing the growing potential of this traditional industry, and will embed new and upcoming technologies into its products to become a leader within health-tech.
The release of AliveCor’s FDA-cleared technology, the KardiaBand, will see Apple Watch users become further supported, especially those with cardiac conditions.
Electrode sensors are built into the band’s design to enable the technology to provide real-time electrocardiogram (ECG) readings via the company’s app. The accessory also detects any abnormal heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation.
The app will continuously monitor a user’s heartrate, and will alert a user to any abnormal activity, or where routines from previous history deviates. The band therefore utilises AI software, named SmartRhythm, to learn repeated patterns or daily activities which would impact a user’s activity, creating exceptional algorithms.
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The KardiaBand will operate with the Apple Watch Series 1, 2 and 3, and users will have to place their thumb on the inbuilt sensor in the band, which will provide significant information within 30 seconds. All results are stored and imported into Apple Health, and can be sent to the user’s GP.
The development links with Apple’s new Heart Study app, built in partnership with Stanford University’s School of Medicine. Users will be able to take part and, if there are any abnormalities, they will be in contact with a doctor through FaceTime technology.
The focus on atrial fibrillation is significant, and is the leading cause of death for over approximately 20% of deaths, in addition to cardiac disease. Civilians normally live with symptoms for up to two years before they are diagnosed, so this new technology will help diagnose and support users prior to any lapse in health.
Rackspace surveys healthcare leaders' knowledge of tech
A new survey sponsored by Rackspace Technology has analysed how well healthcare leaders understand technology today, compared to five years ago.
Rackspace polled more than 1400 IT and non-IT decision makers in companies making over $300 million a year in six industries, one of which was healthcare.
The survey asked healthcare executives about the changing role of technology in their area, including the dangers of falling behind, their knowledge of the role of technology, and familiarity with what technology can do to the bottom-line.
The majority (90%) say their appreciation for application technology has grown over the past five years, and 88% now have a better understanding of technology than they did five years ago.
They were also asked about the ways technology helps drive corporate strategies. The survey found that:
* 62% say automation drives efficiencies
* 50% say they leverage innovative technologies like IoT and cloud native applications
* 48% say it allows greater employee collaboration
* 48% say it gives them real-time analysis/customer ‘pulse’
Among the technologies that benefit healthcare organisations the most financially i.e. generating revenue and reducing costs:
* 60% say AI/machine learning
* 61% say cybersecurity
* 56% say enterprise software
* 45% say e-commerce
* 44% say SaaS
* 41% say IoT
Almost half of the respondents (44%) say that if legacy applications aren’t modernised in the next two to three years, healthcare organisations may lose their ability to compete.
Other consequences of delaying modernising applications include:
* 56% say they wouldn’t be able to meet new regulations
* 46% say they wouldn’t be able to scale up IT to meet new demands
* 44% say customer service levels would be reduced
* 36% say they wouldn’t be able to integrate
* 33% say poor staff morale would result from inadequate systems
* 33% say there would be lost productivity
Jeff DeVerter, CTO at Rackspace Technology, commented on the research: “The results of our survey are further evidence that modernising applications through a user lens is not just a ‘nice to have’ from a customer satisfaction perspective, but also delivers a wealth of tangible, quantifiable benefits to organisations.
“Applications are a foundation of customer experience, and it is encouraging to see an increased focused and rising enthusiasm for customer experience improvements.”