Apple Watch Lures Baby Boomers
As a technology, the new Apple watch is cool. It has FDA approval. The new Apple watch can detect Atrial Fibrillation as well as falls (one of the leading causes of death and injury among seniors). However, as a health / wellness / well-being (pick your favorite term) is still short of the mark.
No doubt it will make money and fill a need among senior citizens. However, its focus is on sick care… instead of prevention and promoting health.
For sure, there are health features in the watch like tracking steps, heart rate, etc. However, Apple still has more it can deliver that will promote health and well-being among all ages but especially Baby Boomers. These preventive features need to look at things like gait, mental cognition, as well as Social Determinants of Health like loneliness.
It is progress and there is more to do!
On Wednesday, at its product showcase in Cupertino, California, Apple announced a host of new health features for the fourth series of the Apple Watch that are clearly targeted at aging users.
The device recognizes when a user has fallen and has another feature to detect a heart condition called Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), which is more common in seniors.
“Fall prevention, AFib detection and slow heart rate alerts are ideally targeted to baby boomers, where the prevalence of these conditions is much higher,” said Jeffrey Wessler, a cardiology fellow at Columbia University Medical Center. “If, and that’s a big if, Apple can get older populations to properly use the devices, the results could be outcome-changing.”
In another important step, Apple also said on Wednesday that the new Apple Watch is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for taking an electrocardiogram, or ECG, which measures the heart’s rhythm.
This is likely just the beginning of Apple’s dive into health monitoring and its direct appeal to older users, who are at high risk for a range of medical conditions.
By marketing the device as an “intelligent health guardian,” as Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams described it on stage, the watch offers peace of mind to users and their friends and family members. That could mean a big boost in sales as we get closer to the holiday season and millennials are seeking out the perfect gift for mom and dad.