Apple has at least a four-to-five year lead over the competition when thinking about just the technology powering its wearables. Everything from custom silicon and health monitoring sensors to audio and AR-focused technologies come together to set Apple apart from the competition. Only a select number of companies will likely be able to even compete with Apple on the technology front. Others will be forced to pursue partnerships.
It is always tempting to peruse others failures and anoint Apple as the “leader” while conveniently disregarding the fact that Apple prefers to acquire companies for “future technology”, instead of building their own. One simple example- their UI borrows heavily from BlackBerry 10 that debuted eight years back and Apple bought the company which first brought it to life. Apple’s unparalleled reach in PR allows it to browbeat anyone. These blogs amplify the prevailing “wisdom”.
I can’t comment on the specifics but I had been involved (recently) with someone to explore the idea for wearables in head and neck cancers. The project couldn’t move forward, although, I had done my due dilligence. The hardware components are cheap, off-the-shelf that require a smattering of the operating system to collect. The USP of any wearable (beyond monitoring steps or sleep) is either the “accessibility features” or the “dick-tracy” style interface speaking to the watch. If that is not stupid, I don’t know what else is. Beyond that, any degree of correlation can be set or put forward for its clinical use case (which is likely to be a deluge of data) and will require extensive policy tweaks to use it as part of the “data-pools”.
Apple Watch is another overpriced expensive hardware and I’d abhor spending money on it- it’s just that I don’t find any use case for it. I am more interested in the health kit that Apple ships out for researchers. That holds the key to what they are thinking for US healthcare system. I am sure others have started paying more attention to it.