When commenting on the current state of mobile health care, Tim Cook said last May, "There are a lot of problems to solve in this space. It's ripe for exploration." Cook is also quoted as saying last spring, "The whole sensor field is going to explode."
Dewitt reported on Apple's recent hiring spree that includes, among others, Jay Blahnik from Nike's (NKE) FuelBand team, Nancy Dougherty from Proteus Digital Health, which developed smart patches and ingestible smart pills, and Ravi Narashamian from Vital Connect, which focuses on sensors for measuring respiration and activity levels with wearable devices.
Hmmmm...I wonder which direction Apple's fitness fanatic CEO plans to take the iWatch? The addressable market for medical data is just a hair over seven billion people! Get ready to change the way you interact with the health care industry. 9to5 Mac reported that Apple is developing an app internally being called "Healthbook" as an ecosystem for health app developers and health wearable makers.
3. Fitness. Surviving as a fitness-only device is difficult because it's a "want" rather than a "need." Nevertheless, the iWatch will likely offer all the same fitness tracking apps currently available in the App Store and on Nike's FuelBand. If iWatch stream's music to your Bluetooth headphones it will take the place of an iPod as well.
4. Personal Security. Because iWatch is attached to your arm it is perfectly suited to function as a call for help. Beyond distress calls, it will function as a monitoring/tracking tool for the elderly and for children. Aging parents who live alone are at risk without a responsible caregiver verifying their location and vital signs.
iWatch provides young parents with increased peace of mind knowing exactly where a child might be roaming whether its at Disneyland, at school or out with friends. When you think of iWatch in this context, it's easy to see yourself walking into an Apple store and asking for eight of them.
Analysts are focused on the "Internet of Things" as the next big breakthrough in tech. Perhaps the "Internet of People" is an even larger opportunity because of wearable tech.
5. Wallet Replacement. Constant monitoring of medical data is gaining credibility as the primary function of iWatch, but don't forget about iWallet and mobile payments. Yes, these services will also be available on the iPhone but a system of redundancy must exist in order to protect consumers in case the iPhone is lost, broken or stolen. iWatch will house credit cards and identification in the inevitable evolution away from the clumpy leather wallet.
6. iBeacon. iWatch and iPhone will both sync with iBeacon to revolutionize the retail experience. Time to throw away all of those loyalty cards -- iBeacon will track purchase history and offer tailor made coupons specifically for you. Simply scan your iWatch and get the best deals. Passbook will also be available on iWatch so you no longer have to keep track of hard-copy airline tickets, subway passes, sports tickets, concert tickets, etc.