LinkedIn’s front page has served up another interesting article about the health care tech market: “Is Apple Moving Into Digital Health?”
According to the rules of Internet article headlines, the answer is, “Basically, yes.”
- Apple is looking into wearable tech — i.e., the iWatch.
- Apple has also hired Ueyn Block (of C8 MediSensors) and Todd Whitehurst (Senseonics). Both companies focus on sensors for medical purposes. It’s not a stretch to envision Apple integrating these sensors into something like an iWatch.
- Health care technology is in a boom state right now. Keas, Cor, HOW, and many more are entering the market. Apple, being the industry monolith that it is — and being a company losing out on the mobile health app race — is sure to want to get its piece of the (apple?) pie.
My opinion is one of vague discomfort and indifference. I don’t really care if Apple enters the mobile health landscape. I’m not likely to buy something for that purpose in the first place.
At the same time, I don’t exactly jump for joy at the prospect of yet another tech device that might significantly reduce the connection people have with their bodies. Call me old-fashioned, but I much prefer the innate human ability (and responsibility) to know one’s body.
Maybe my vision of a device that continuously monitors pulse, blood pressure, etc., is a bit alarmist or premature, but you know… I won’t be surprised if/when it happens.
How does this news pertain to the workplace? Well, down the line you might see wellness vendors tossing things together to function alongside Apple’s technology. Extensions on mobile devices to reel in iWatch data via the cloud… which feeds into the company’s mobile app… which then amasses data in a database to track show program progress… which enables companies to alter their wellness offerings.
Sounds cool, yeah? Sure, if you’re into that kind of thing.
I still prefer the minimalist approach. All that won’t (shouldn’t) really be needed. What you need is:
- a good understanding of your employees,
- a culture and structure that encourage healthy behaviors by not grinding their noses to the bare bone,
- ways to facilitate that culture, through participatory programs and healthier cafeteria fare (and no junk food dispensers, a.k.a. vending machines), and
- support from the highest ranks of the organization.
Sure sounds a lot simpler than forking over six or seven figures to a wellness vendor. Cheaper, too.
What are your thoughts?