By Albert DiPiero MD, MPH
Apple, Aetna and CVS said they are working on a new Apple Watch app that will tap into personal health data of Aetna’s members to make specific health and medical recommendations, such as exercise goals, and reminders for vaccines and refills. Some of this seems trivial or more or surface skimming. What is really going on here? This move indicates that Apple is going deep on personal health and medical applications. The app would also supposedly guide Aetna members to less expensive or medical test options based presumably on the member’s network and benefits. This app requires accessing the protected health information of members in order to make personalized recommendations. The fact that Apple is moving forward with both FDA-approved applications and applications based on personalized health history information is a great sign for healthcare entrepreneurs who have the creativity to launch innovative products based on the watch apps. The Apple Watch is an under-appreciated tool in both health and medical fields in my opinion.