Clearly, Apple has been serious about health in recent years, especially with devices such as Apple Watch, which literally save lives. Apple CEO Tim Cook has been fairly public about the company looking to change the world with its health initiatives. Today, Apple VP of Health Dr. Sumbul Desai dealt with MobiHealthNews to talk more about Apple's precedence to health.
When asked about the new ECG feature found in the Apple Watch Series 4, Desai says it is in a physician's nature to be concerned about how this will affect the medical community. While customers love the new feature, doctors are still trying to figure out how to handle the data coming out of Apple Watch.
Feedback has been pretty decent so far. I've heard some cardiologists say, "Yes, I started getting ECGs sent to me right away." And their biggest frustration is not so much about the ECG, because they have found it useful, but it is that the health services still find the right way to handle that type of incoming.
She says that customer feedback has been "very amazing" in that users now discover that they can have atrial fibrillation (a-fib) and that they are treated to a problem you may never have known about.
Desai was then asked what Apple does for the doctors themselves with their Health Records initiative and how features like the ECG in Apple Watch and Health Records blend together.
As a doctor I see patients in the ER … and many times the questions we ask are, & # 39; What kind of medication are you on? & # 39; So now I have an area where I can look at all this very helpfully. We are very early on that journey … but there is a lot of potential there and we are very happy about what we can do. And we are very happy that the medical community is excited about it.
As for the ECG and the new fall detection feature of Apple Watch, many users claim that especially with fall detection, is aimed at a much older amount. Usually within 65 or 70 years or older, and note that these types of users are not the ones who usually buy an Apple Watch.
Of course, Desai responds that Apple is building products for all demographics. But she quickly tells that falling is one of the most common reasons why people go to the emergency room.
When it comes to fallout detection, I know it was the immediate place people took, but if you look at the statistics, falling is one of the most common reasons people should enter the emergency room of all age groups. So you can imagine, and this has happened to me, go up on your chair to try to get some flour or sugar, no matter what age group you are in, and have a fall. And it happens. And then we have really built fallout discovery for everyone.
When asked about Apple's relationship with the FDA, Desai says Apple doesn't get any special treatment. In fact, she says Apple was asking very tough questions but still had answers for them.
The full interview is an interesting reading, be sure to check it out in full here.
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