Think + Make

More Than Just a Toilet-Proof Phone with Wireless Ear Buds

As thrilled as we are about having toilet-proof phones, what really excited us were the updates to the Health app in the new iOS 10.

A majority of our healthcare happens outside of the doctor’s office. The time spent between clinic visits has the biggest effect on our health, and that is the time on which we need to focus. We were so excited Apple feels the same way.

This Wednesday, Apple introduced the iPhone 7 with its dual-lens camera, stereo speakers, and water-resistant shell. As thrilled as we are about having toilet-proof phones, what really excited us were the updates to the Health app in the new iOS 10.

With the updates announced this week, the health app has been reorganized into four quadrants of health: activity, sleep, mindfulness and nutrition. It might seem like a simple change, but putting mindfulness on the same level as sleep, activity, and nutrition is a big deal. It makes a statement that mental health care is just as important as physical health care. With over 100 million iPhone users in the United States alone, this has major potential to change how we think about our health and wellbeing.

Here is where it gets really interesting. Apple is also putting a bigger emphasis on two new offerings for health and wellbeing – ReseachKit and CareKit. Last fall, Apple introduced ResearchKit to allow medical researchers to develop apps that can collect data from much larger sample sizes than the typical research study, and much more frequently, resulting in more accurate and more specific insights.

After having success with ResearchKit, they introduced CareKit, a framework for apps that help iOS users manage and monitor their own care. The tools offered by CareKit help users track their care plans at home and give them the ability to share that data with their healthcare providers to give them a better overall picture.

As Apple’s Divya Nag says in the ResearchKit and CareKit video on Apple’s website, “If we can bring care and research together, and bridge that gap, we can live healthier and happier lives.”

While these tools align with bswing’s view of the future of healthcare, ResearchKit and CareKit really just represent potential energy. They are frameworks. What we need to do is put that energy into motion. Apple is shifting that responsibility to us – researchers, designers and developers. This means it’s up to us to leverage these new tools into their greatest potential.

We think the changes Apple is making are a great step forward. We now have a new set of tools to tap into new opportunities with approaches never available before.

What do you think? Do you want to talk more about this? Are you ready to dig in?

Greg McGee