Oct 14, 2014

It’s time to look at Apple Watch and your business

It’s time to look at Apple Watch and your business
BY Peggy Nordeen

B2B | Geofencing | Healthcare | Mobile Marketing | SFBJ | Smartphone Apps

Reprinted from South Florida Business Journal

Watch reviewer Ariel Adams has called the Apple Watch the first “real crossover watch” that will become a necessary tool in the everyday lives of everyday people. While it isn’t slated to ship until early 2015, savvy marketers are already planning how they can become one of the tools used everyday.

Apple-Watch

Among the first industries to see a huge opportunity is health care. The Apple Watch includes a digital medical ID bracelet, which can be accessed even when your phone or watch is locked. This capability has potential for huge implications for development of health care tracking apps, integration with other health care devices and even personal emergency alert systems.

A new dimension in health care tracking apps

When Apple’s Healthkit, which can be downloaded on the Apple Watch, launched last month on iPhones and iPads with the iOS 8 operating system, Humana was the first to jump on the app bandwagon.

With a reported 3.8 million eligible members for its HumanaVitality wellness rewards program, Humana told Reuters, it will use the Apple Healthkit to encourage members to be more active, eat better and lose weight with rewards including movie tickets and fitness equipment. Combining tracking and loyalty programs is a big idea for marketers.

Apple’s Healthkit gathers data such as blood pressure and weight from various applications, enabling it to be viewed by consumers and doctors in one place. Its ease of use is planned to increase the data sharing between doctors and patients. The benefit to marketers is the ability to reward participants in ways that improve health and lower health care costs.

Other health care tracking apps could have the potential of helping patients with tracking blood glucose, inhaler usage and other items with far more accuracy of both timing and recording than individual patients can currently do. What’s even better is the Apple Watch will be able to transmit the information to the doctor in real time if it falls outside an acceptable range, improving the quality of lives – and potentially saving them.

Streamlining monitoring and alert systems

As with the advent of the iPhone, the creativity that will go into developing apps for the Apple Watch is expected to flourish and one fertile area for development is in monitoring and alert systems.

Many of us have a relative or know someone whose heart is monitored by a telephone land line or who has a personal alert button that they wear to contact a call center in case of a medical emergency such as a seizure, heart attack or fall.

The integration of separate systems and devices like these into apps for the Apple Watch is most likely the stuff of the future. It is also the stuff that simplifies our lives by consolidating often costly products and services.

The comfort and appearance of a real watch

With all of this, Apple’s design has provided the comfort and style of a real watch, according to current reviewers. The Apple Watch Sport is good-looking and said to be very comfortable to wear.

While apps will need to be downloaded from an iPhone, the Apple Watch can “live” without the iPhone in exercise scenarios where GPS is not needed. It can play music and run apps. However, if your iPhone is in your briefcase, backpack, purse or pocket, the two devices work together – the iPhone operating to save memory in the Apple Watch when possible.

While you won’t find an Apple Watch under the Christmas tree in 2014, this year may be a good time to start planning how this new everyday tool for everyday people will impact your business in the future.