Stephen Levy

June 27, 2014

2 Min Read
Will Apple Bring Health-Tracking Presents For Christmas?

Apple's recently announced HealthKit platform has prompted much discussion and speculation. Three patent applications that may point the direction Apple is trying to bend its user base were recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

We could describe the patent applications with their titles, "Method and Apparatus For Personal Characterization Data Collection Using Sensors," "Method and Apparatus for Automatically Setting Alarms and Notifications," and "Method and Apparatus for Automatically Repeating Alarms and Notifications in Response to Device Motion," but that would miss the point.

HealthKit

Apple is rumored to be prepping a steady expansion of health-tracking technology. It recently announced HealthKit, which provides a spectrum of health-tracking functionality, which will be integrated into iOS8.

The point is, if you think your smartphone runs your life now, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I'm telling you why... There are already mood trackers available for your iPhone. If Apple launches its iWatch platform before Christmas season, expect more biometric tracking functionality to be available. The latest rumors suggest that the iWatch could be held up at FDA.

He's making a list, and checking it twice; gonna find out who's naughty and nice.

Those much-discussed Health apps will tell if you've been naughty or nice.

He sees you when you're sleeping; he knows when you're awake. All the body-tracking stuff will give you more sleep stats than you ever wanted to know.

He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!

Refresh your medical device industry knowledge at MEDevice San Diego, September 10-11, 2014.

To translate into the dry language of a patent application, "(a) personal 'scorecard' may be generated from the raw data and from data concerning other users. Personal, raw characterization data may be computed into personal statistical data by averaging over time. Then, it may be sent (anonymously) to a server that receives such data from many (or all) users. The server may return personal statistical positioning to enable comparison of the user to other participants."

That phrase "personal statistical positioning to enable comparison of the user to other participants" may serve as a quantifiable metric that correlates to "badness" and "goodness"--at least until the next upgrade. Then we don't need Santa Claus--we've got Apple Claus!

Stephen Levy is a contributor to Qmed and MPMN.

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