If you’re someone who loves mechanical watches, then chances are high that you have strong feelings about the Apple Watch and smart watches in general. I’m personally ambivalent about the whole thing, but I’ve always enjoyed hearing the reasons people offer when defending or attacking smart watches. (I can already hear the screams, “it’s not a watch!”) The critique that I find to be most cogent is that smart watches are simply extensions of your phone, and therefore they’re redundant. So rather than wear something redundant on your wrist, wouldn’t you rather wear a beautiful watch instead? Now, redundancies aren’t always bad, but the Apple Watch and most other smart watches seemed superfluous at best as long as they rely on a phone for full functionality.
Then came the 3rd generation Apple Watch, now untethered with cellular connectivity. It was a big upgrade, and one that would potentially take the Apple Watch out of the realm of being an overly expensive fitness tracker. Tech writers speculated where this could take the product when it launched earlier this year. Now with 2018 just around the corner, we may be getting a glimpse of where the Apple Watch is going and how it may further push medical care into the digital space. The New York Times reports that “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.” And that’s not all. In addition to work being done by third parties, Apple is investing resources to develop a noninvasive continuous glucose reader, something that Steve Jobs wanted in the early days of the Apple Watch. In fact, the article reveals that in its inception, the Apple Watch was supposed to have more medically focused features, but hardware and software limitations at the time ultimately made it unfeasible.
To learn more about how the Apple Watch is being used in the medical space, you can read The New York Times piece here.