Apple and IBM have begun introducing Apple Watch support to some of their jointly developed MobileFirst for iOS apps, a step that confirms the growing perception that the new Apple wearable is much more than just a consumer product and also has a part to play in enterprise IT.
Apple Watch support has been introduced across three key solutions: Hospital RN, Field Connect and Incident Aware. The Apple Watch apps add what may be life-saving versatility to the core solution, so for example:
Hospital RN: The app provides medical staff with push notifications to alert them to new patient data, safety alerts and task lists; it also gives nursing staff quick and easy contextual access to patient information.
Incident Aware: Aimed at law enforcement and public safety officials, the Apple Watch app will provide officers with important notifications, such as urgent requests for Emergency Medical Services. This app also lets officers view live camera feeds and request backup.
Field Connect: Field service engineers will receive important incident alerts while they work (such as severe weather, outages, hazards, and crew member information).
Realizing the promise of M2M
What’s interesting about all three solutions is that in each case the partners have absolutely got it right when it comes to the idea of twinning wearable M2M devices with useful tools.
In the case of Hospital RN, for example, alerts about patient conditions can be dispatched to the closest available staff as a priority item, enabling fast emergency response in the event patient monitoring detects a problem. It may also open the gates for patient monitoring features currently found in solutions such as the Leaf Patient Monitoring System, which has proven significance on patient health.
IBM is placing bets that it will have a big part to play in future healthcare, as its recently launched Watson Health Cloud proves.
Apple’s part seems likely to be significant as its ResearchKit project paves the way toward app-based cures. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January published a draft guidance document to help health app developers figure out when their product or marketing claims become subject to regulation. Those that treat conditions need FDA approval, while those that simply promote better habits don’t.
ResearchKit will eventually help Apple get the data it needs to build FDA-approved apps proven to be effective in some treatment.
I spend a lot of time writing about mobile health and it should be crystal clear to everyone that connected devices will be critical to future healthcare provision.
However, this digital transformation of everything is reverberating across every industry, forcing root and branch reform not just of company business processes, but also of internal company culture and customer relationships.
It seems apparent that Apple has been building relationships that mean the Apple Watch is much more than just a shiny consumer toy for a small minority of well-heeled iPhone users. Look at the evidence: from cables to health solutions to enterprise-focused apps from key players like Egnyte or IBM or bigtincan, Apple Watch combines everything we expect will define M2M:
Mobile always-connected intelligent devices with clear user interfaces and high degrees of security, twinned with powerful analytics and big data engines capable of yielding insights into behavior.
You need to fight for privacy
Apple’s capacity to visualize and deliver products of this caliber is why Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry refutes those who argue Watch sales are not meeting expectations, saying instead: “Apple Watch will be the most addictive device ever created. Apple watch is production constrained not demand constrained.”
The vision may not be for everybody, of course – if nothing else the volume of data being produced by these devices should act as a clarion call to privacy advocates, but this future is not now something that’s being talked about in the dusty rooms of futurologist theory, no: this future is already here.
Deal with it.
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