After much anticipation since its first introduction last September, Apple launched the Apple Watch and provided the world with a comprehensive view of what will likely become the most popular smartwatch. Below is a highlight of the health and wellness related features of this innovative device.
Stand, Move, Exercise
The Apple Watch has built in sensors to determine when a wearer is standing, moving, or exercising and provides a built in feedback loop to promote optimal amounts of each throughout the day. For example, if a user has been sitting for almost an hour, the watch will remind the user to give the chair a break and stand or walk for a bit.
During a dedicated cardio workout, the Workout app built into Apple Watch shows real-time stats like elapsed time, distance, calories, pace, and speed for a variety of the most popular activities, including running, using the elliptical, and cycling. Since Apple Watch is water resistant, users don’t have to worry about getting sweat on it or working out in the rain. Just choose the type of workout and Apple Watch turns on the appropriate sensors.
Heart Rate Sensor
The Apple Watch will contain a custom heart rate sensor that will detect a user’s heart rate during workouts, which helps determine intensity level and improves the accuracy of active calorie burn measurements.
Personalized Feedback Loop
The Apple Watch is designed with customizable coaching reminders to motivate users and help them achieve new milestones. Over time, Apple Watch learns about a user’s activity and will suggest a daily Move goal for the week that is realistic and achievable. Goals can be adjusted up or down and are designed to increase activity levels over time.
During Apple’s most recent event, the company launched a new health offering – arguably its most clinically-focused yet – called ResearchKit. The open source platform helps researchers build medical apps and more easily recruit patients for clinical trials and other research projects.
With the addition of another device to the health and wellness ecosystem, the case for a bring your own device (BYOD) wellness strategy becomes even stronger. It allows wellness programs to access the consumer wellness ecosystem and promote consumer choice to achieve wellness goals. Rather than using rigid enterprise wellness systems, such as proprietary pedometers and mobile apps, a BYOD wellness strategy is built upon a highly competitive consumer movement that is heavily investing in results. We look forward to testing out the Apple Watch and exploring all of its capabilities.