Posts tagged: Health

Get the lowdown on the Apple Special Media Event!

tim cook




Today, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Apple held a Special Media Event. The event was thought to largely focus on the imminent release of the Apple Watch, which it did, and announce a new Macbook, which it did. A really, really nice looking new Macbook.


Rumors had them announcing the rebranded Beats Music, which did not happen, but what did happen was the announcement of an Apple Supported HBO streaming service (with an exclusive viewing of a new Game Of Thrones Trailer) and the announcement of Apple’s entry into the Medical research field.


Say what?


You read right – Apple has partnered with a bunch of medical research firms and universities such as Stanford and Oxford to come up with a way that medical research scientists can collect medical data from the millions of iPhone users around the world, creating a much more quantitative, objective and communication-centric way to look at health, disease progression and giving a stronger more effective way of treating and curing diseases and conditions such as Asthma, Cardiovascular disease, and Diabetes.



Very exciting stuff. Before we get too far into that, let’s start off with some more of the lighter features in the event. We’ll be splitting this report into 3 parts, because it’s a lot of information, and…  it’s Monday. We got you!



Tim Cook started off, as he most always does, with giving us some stats about how awesome Apple it is. Here’s a shortened version:



*Apple opened 6 retail stores in China in the past 6 Weeks, making that a total of 21 stores overall so far,  and 453 stores in 16 countries around the world.


*120 million million retail customers in the last quarter


*25 million Apple TV’s sold so far


*700 millionth iPhone recently sold


*99% satisfaction score for customers owning an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 6 Plus.


*Apple Pay has grown massively since it’s launch with a lot more retailers accepting Apple Pay and thousands more banks supporting the payment system



Next,  Tim Cook brings on stage the CEO of HBO, Richard Pepler, to announce a new streaming service HBO Now – initially only available on Apple devices, called HBO Live. Giving you access to the entire HBO catalog. You can access the new service on it’s own dedicated Apple TV channel, or on any Apple Device. The service will begin early April ( in time for the new Game Of Thrones Premier on April 12th) for $14.99 a month, and you’ll get the first month free.


Mr Pepler also debuted an exclusive new trailer of the next Game of Thrones season which you can watch here. 


The next announcements were simple and welcome one – Apple TV is going down in price from $99 to $69, sweet, and every major car brand has committed to delivering Carplay, with more than 40 new models of cars shipping by end of 2015.


Now on to the interesting stuff.  Medical research. Up until now scientists had to rely on relatively small sample sizes and subjective data when it came to research. Apple is making it possible to change that, creating an software developer kit called Research Kit, which will be open source (!), allowing developers to create interactive apps that will make it possible to collect substantive and important data on our health, gauge the effects of disease degeneration and turn our iPhones into diagnostic tools.


The first five apps, released today, are ‘mPower’ for Parkinson’s, ‘Diabetes GlucoSucess’,  ‘MyHeart’ for Cardiovascular disease,  ‘Asthma Health’,  and ‘Breast Cancer – Share the Journey’. 


An important detail to note here – you choose what you participate in, and Apple will never see any of the data. An exciting idea created by Apple here, full of potential to help a lot of people. As long as they can make sure to keep all of the Data out of evil genius bad guys hands, this gets a huge thumbs up from iPhone Antidote.


Next – Part 2. The new Macbook. Ooooh, aaaaaah.










The iWatch

iWatch mock up photo by Brett Jordan Via is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0



The iWatch! Could it finally be on it’s way onto our super deserving wrists? Well, we think so. We’re almost as sure as we can really ever really be with an Apple product release, especially a completely new product release. Here’s a bunch of stuff we think we know about the iWatch.


Way, way back in 2008, Apple co-founder  Steve Wozniak confirmed to the Telegraph that “Apple’s future could lie in an ‘iWatch’.”


Then, in the midst of a thousand iWatch rumors, Apple trademarked ‘iWatch’ in Japan, Mexico, Russia and a number of other countries.


Tim Cook has said this about wearable tech:


“I think the wrist is interesting. I’m wearing this (Nike Fuelband) on my wrist…it’s somewhat natural. But as I said before, I think for something to work here, you first have to convince people it’s so incredible that they want to wear it.”


So we know it’s coming, and we know it’s going to be incredible, which is pretty exciting.


The iWatch is rumored to be out this year. Definitely, probably, this year. We think it will be if not announced, at least hinted at during the WWDC in June, and if not, definitely revealed  in the Fall, and released later in the year or early 2015.


The idea is that the iWatch will feature a small number of already established products combined into one, similar to the original iPhone when it came out.


It is said to be standalone with the option to be used in combination with your iPhone. It will most likely include watch, (duh) as well as fitness, health and phone functionality. Siri is a possibility, as is FaceTime capabilities, and maps, if not full iOS 8 functionality.


Fitness and health tech accessories were one of the big new industry product sectors at this year’s CES conference in Vegas. Many believe that it’s where the future of wearable tech lies.


Apple have recently made a bucketload of new roles rumored to be centered on the creation of the iWatch. Some of these are a little vague, others are quite telling. These include:


Sleep analysis experts who hold “several patents for integrating mobile devices with fitness equipment”


Biometric scientists.


Ben Shaffer (previously innovation leader at Nike) and Jay Blahnik, a health and fitness instructor who consulted on the Fuelband for Nike.


Sleep research expert Roy J.E.M Raymann, a scientist from Philips Research last month.  Raymann’s experience includes extensive research into non-pharmacological methods of altering sleep quality and in wearable sensors and miniaturization of sensors related to tracking sleep and alertness activity.


Nancy Dougherty was hired as a hardware engineer in late 2013. Previously she worked with technology-based medical products with Proteus Digital Health. Her work there included a health metric-reading wearable patch and ingestible, Bluetooth-connected smart pills for monitoring dosages and scheduling. Most recently, Dougherty worked as a hardware lead for Sano Intelligence, whose tagline reads ‘the API for the bloodstream,’ working on a wearable sensor system.


Apple recently advertised for an Exercise Physiologist to oversee cardiovascular fitness and energy expenditure tests at its main headquarters campus.


The ad read: Design and run user studies related to cardiovascular fitness & energy expenditure, including calories burned, metabolic rate, aerobic fitness level measurement/tracking and other key physiological measurements.


Michael O’Reilly, M.D. was recently added to the Apple team. Previously he was the  Chief Medical Officer of pulse oximetry (measuring the amount of oxygen in the blood)  for Masimo.


In the fashion line, Former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve, below, was hired last year to work under Tim Cook on a “special project”, and Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, joined Apple in a newly created position last year, as a senior vice president and member of their executive team.


Pretty promising stuff, right? So what else do we know?


A supply chain source indicated to Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White in early October that it may also serve to integrate with home automation systems, allowing users to control heating and cooling, lights, and audio/video systems right from their wrists.


The design will come from the delightful brain of one Jony Ive (and his no doubt delightful team).


It is expected to have a 1.5-inch display, it will more than likely have a battery life longer than one day (Hi Galaxy gear!) and no one is brave enough yet to guess at a price.


What about competition? There are already a few smart watches, coming from the likes of Samsung with the Galaxy Gear  (1& 2), the Pebble, the Sony smart watch 2 and now Google who has confirmed to the Financial Times after filing a patent that they are indeed manufacturing a smart watch, possibly for release this year.


Apple will be looking to blow them all out of the water, obviously. This means that it has to be innovative in the same way that shocked the world with the original iPhone, and that all the components such as battery life, synchronization with other tech, wearability and functionality will have to be perfect.



So, no pressure, Apple. Also: hurry up, cos we really, really want one.





iWatch mock up photo by Brett Jordan Via is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0