Like it or don’t, see it or ignore it, change is coming. Apple has a long history is driving products into the market and creating disruptive revolutions. Mac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, even Watch are good examples of how Apple’s brand of technology created disruptions in various markets.
What’s next? Technology wearables? Techno-implants? Artificial intelligence in every device with a Siri front end? Personalized robotic devices that we can love and form an emotional attachment to? While technologists wonder, ponder, and explore the future, Apple is among those few tech companies that actually ships products which become the disruptive influences of the future.
All. About. Health.
Robots and home electronics are in the future, yes, but if I were required to hazard a guess as to the next disruptive revolution, I’ll go for health monitoring, as evidenced now in Apple Watch. What’s special about Watch that you don’t see in other timepieces or wearable technology gadgets?
Watch stands out as the iPhone stood out just a few years ago. iPhone became disruptive because it changed how we used so-called smartphones. iPhone destroyed competitors who refused to adopt or adapt to the obvious methods created to use the device, hence an industry disruption. iPhone sold and continues to sell in massive numbers which helps drive application innovation.
Watch sits at a similar pivot point to iPhone’s first few years. Watch is a wearable with sensors that can track heart rate, location, distance traveled, time, and more. Watch of the future should be able to track blood pressure, blood oxygen, and blood sugar. Watch can be worn most of the day and thereby tracks an enormous amount of health-related information which can be used by each individual Watch owner, or their doctors and health care providers.
Because performance measured often becomes performance improved (which is why athletes measure their performance), it is likely that Watch owners will be more health conscious, and less of a risk to health insurers and perhaps more productive employees.
This is not to say that artificial intelligence won’t be disruptive, or that robotics won’t revolutionize humankind; what we do, how we do it, how we interact with one another and machines. But those are disruptive revolutions of the future. They will have their day.
Today, Watch is revolutionizing the wearable industry, and about to create a few dents in the healthcare industry universe. In the watch industry, only industry leader Rolex makes more money than Apple and that’s after barely 18-months of existence. Already, health insurers are subsidizing Apple Watch among their clients because the math supports the risk and expense. Health conscious Watch users are a better risk than overweight smokers.
The health care industry struggles to track patients and gather appropriate and timely health data using small study groups, yet massive amounts of data from hundreds of thousands of Watch users can be made available almost instantly. That’s today. What about five years down the road when the aforementioned sensors are available in Watch to track even more personal health data?
Augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and even personalized robots will have their place in the sun and each play a part in disrupting various industries, but health care is ripe for disruption now, and guess who is in the drivers seat for millions of people with products for the masses that work now?