Potential new Apple health device on horizon

 In Medical Product Design

With the advent of Fitbit, people began to care as much about their health while walking to work as they did while at the doctor's office. The device, along with subsequent health-tracking hardware and apps, revolutionized the way people monitor their health and daily activities.

Now Apple, could be looking to reverse its recent dry spell on the technology front with a new product that "will be the main killer of health-related applications," said reporter Yin Huizhong of Economic Daily News.

Huizhong noted the potential new product will have the ability to track everything from heart rates and blood-sugar changes to the person's pulse. If this doesn't get your attention, maybe this will: The product may also include Apple's pressure sensing 3-D Touch technology, most notably used in the iPhone 6s.

Neil Hughes of Apple​ Insider believes this won't just be an upgrade over the Apple Watch – a device whose health mechanisms were hampered more by Apple's design team, reported Bob Messerschmidt, a former Apple executive who helped develop the Watch, than available technology.

"I went to a meeting," noted Messerschmidt, according to Fast Company, "and said 'I'm going to put sensors in the watch but I'm going to put them down here (he points to the underside of the Apple Watch band he's wearing) because I can get a more accurate reading on the bottom of the wrist than I can get on the top of the wrist.' They (the Industrial Design group) said very quickly that 'That's not the design trend; that's not the fashion trend. We want to have interchangeable bands so we don't want to have any sensors in the band."

From the beginning, the Apple Watch was limited in its ability to accurately track a person's health. Even after Messerschmidt proposed changes to incorporate fashion trends, such as placing the sensor at the top of watch, designers refuted the idea because "that's not how people wear watches." Instead, they "wear them really floppy on their wrist," Messerschmidt said.

It doesn't appear that a possible new Apple product that's solely focused on health care will face the same problems the Apple Watch encountered. In fact, the more information that leaks about the project, the more it appears the Apple Watch could have been just a stopgap between testing the waters in health-tracking technology and the real deal. That's at least the idea Hughes proposed when he said that Apple Watch was just part of Steve Job's original vision to fill the gap between provider and patient.


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