Apple has recently been granted a patent for “Electronic Devices with Body Composition Analysis Circuitry,” revealing the tech giant’s ongoing development of a new feature called “Body ID” This new technology is described as an iPhone-like device that can analyze the user’s body shape, hair color, skin status and other physical characteristics to provide targeted health recommendations.
Apple’s interest in the medical and health industries is no secret. The company first introduced the “Health” app in iOS 8 and launched HealthKit for developers. In 2015, Apple introduced ResearchKit, followed by CareKit in 2016, and today Apple collaborates with Stanford University, the Institute of Health Sciences with the National Institutes of Health, and other prestigious institutions for research and development projects. For example, Apple is currently working with Stanford University on a heart project, among others.
The Apple Watch has evolved beyond a simple smart wearable device to become a groundbreaking innovation in the watch industry. With a new generation of accelerometers and gyroscopes, it now has fall detection capabilities and EKG electrocardiogram technology that can detect irregular heartbeats and automatically transmit assistive information and the user’s real-time location. in 2018, the Apple Watch Series 4 was certified as a medical device by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Recently, the Apple Watch also made a breakthrough in non-invasive continuous blood sugar monitoring technology, which caused the stock prices of existing hardware manufacturers in this field to fall.
Apple’s interest in the healthcare market is driven by its immense potential for growth and profitability. According to Deloitte, the medical and healthcare market accounted for nearly 10% of global GDP in 2018, making it a much larger market than consumer electronics. In the U.S., the largest consumer market in the world, healthcare spending accounted for nearly 18%, with the average American spending about $11,000 per year on healthcare.
As a leader in consumer electronics, Apple’s advantage lies in the vast amounts of user data that serve as the basis for its healthcare strategy. In fact, according to a 2020 survey by The Verge, Apple ranks as the fourth most trusted technology brand in the world. With billions of user data at its disposal, Apple is well-positioned to become a highly sought-after partner for global medical institutions.
Despite the limitations smartwatches have in the medical and healthcare fields due to their size and sensor capabilities, Apple continues to improve its hardware to provide more accurate and reliable health data for users. This will further strengthen the confidence of medical professionals and patients in Apple’s healthcare technology and pave the way for greater adoption and expansion in the healthcare market.