Apple Watch an Underwhelming Offering for Mobile Healthcare, says GlobalData Analyst

Apple Watch has not surpassed competitors in health and fitness tracking due to iPhone dependency ----If wearable devices specific to certain diseases are released in the future, it would be a revolutionary step in healthcare management, says analyst

LONDON, UK, 11 September 2014 - Niharika Midha, MSc, GlobalData's Analyst covering Medical Devices, says:

"The Apple Watch is a robust offering for health and fitness enthusiasts, as it tracks steps, heart rate and calories while allowing users to set fitness goals. However, Apple's health and fitness trackers are largely dependent on the iPhone's WiFi and Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities, which is a considerable drawback in comparison to other vendors. For example, the Samsung Gear S has a built-in GPS and can be used to track activities without requiring connection to the handset.

"As the Apple Watch is only its first product in this new category, we can definitely expect greater innovation from Apple in future devices. At present, the product is not substantially superior to existing devices in terms of health tracking mechanisms.

"The current smart-watch space is lacking direction. Since most of the available devices are targeted towards the consumer group, the overall impact of these on current healthcare management practices is difficult to measure.

"If wearable devices specific to certain diseases are released in the future, however, then this would be a revolutionary step. It would involve leveraging data generated by current smart-watch sensors, or incorporating more sensors, to detect symptoms of particular conditions. For example, Google's development of smart contact lenses targeted towards monitoring glucose levels in diabetic patients is potentially groundbreaking."

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