Google and Apple Make Moves In The Wearable Health Space: Who Will Follow?
How will we stay healthy in the future? These tech giants are betting on wearables.
While the wearables market continues to grow, some analysts say that it hasn’t fully lived up to expectations. One area where investors are still seeing promise is in the health market, and some recent moves from heavyweights Google and Apple seem to support that notion.
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has bought Senosis Health, a health monitoring technology company based in Seattle. Senosis’ apps turn the built-in features of our smartphones like the accelerometer, microphone and flash camera into diagnostic tools capable of measuring hemoglobin counts, monitoring lung health, and more.
The acquisition follows on the heels of Google’s launch of DeepMind Health last year, an initiative with the underlying goal of creating and delivering apps for medical professionals that can be utilized to more effectively identify those at risk of complications.
What’s more, another tech giant, Apple, is also making moves in the wearable health space. In particular, it has been holding under the radar conversations with Aetna regarding plans to bring the Apple Watch to the company’s 23 million members and 50,000 employees.
According to reports, Aetna members and employees would receive a complimentary or discounted Apple Watch as an added perk to the corporate wellness program, though few details have been revealed by either party. In a seemingly win-win scenario, Apple would have a significant opportunity to increase sales of the watch, while Aetna would have an outlet to help customers more seamlessly keep tabs on and maintain interest in their well-being.
The intersection of wearables and health care seems inevitable. Granting people with the data needed to help them make better decisions could help improve quality of life and lower healthcare costs in the long run.
Of course, with this increase in information comes questions around data privacy and security and experts warn of a future in which healthcare data can be used to target consumers for various products and services based on their demonstrated health data.
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