Freed From the iPhone, the Apple Watch Finds a Medical Purpose

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Freed From the iPhone, the Apple Watch Finds a Medical Purpose
Kevin Sayer, Dexcom’s chief executive, said that patients could opt for a monitor to communicate directly with the watch for convenience, but
that the big payoff could come with combining sleep or activity data from the watch with glucose readings from its device to find correlations.
“It’s changing the nature of the relationship between patient and doctor,” he said, adding that doctors will no longer be “high priests.”
Last month, AliveCor introduced a band for the Apple Watch with a built-in electrocardiogram, or EKG, to detect
irregular heart activity such as atrial fibrillation, a form of arrhythmia and a potential cause of a stroke.
“The Apple Watch can now be on you all the time doing this type of medical monitoring.”
The Apple Watch has dominated competitors in the nascent smart watch market,
but it has not taken a place alongside the iPod, iPhone and iPad as the next breakthrough Apple product.
Last month, the company announced a joint research study with the Stanford University School of Medicine to see whether the Apple Watch’s heart
rate sensors could detect irregular heart activity without an electrocardiogram to notify people who might be experiencing atrial fibrillation.
Since then, a wave of device manufacturers have tapped into the watch’s new features like cellular connectivity to develop medical accessories
— such as an electrocardiogram for monitoring heart activity — so people can manage chronic conditions straight from their wrist.
But the hope is that artificial intelligence systems will sift through the vast amounts of data
that medical accessories will collect from the Apple Watch and find patterns that can lead to changes in treatment and detection, enabling people to take more control of how they manage their conditions instead of relying solely on doctors.


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