Apple Watch OS update widens door for mHealth app capabilities

Apple's second generation Watch system, watchOS 2, will drive compelling mHealth apps, features and capabilities, Apple CEO Tim Cook said during a keynote at an Apple product event this week, just moments before introducing a third-party app integration to back his claim.

AirStrip Technologies then demonstrated how Watch, using the San Antonio, Texas-based company's app and monitoring technology, can help physicians better track patient appointments and also provide real-time data on ailments and status. Doctors can receive and send data such as lab test results, as well as vital signs data provided via a mobile device from a patient.

"The Watch is already changing daily lives, helping users live a better day," Cook said before introducing AirStrip Co-Founders Trevor Moore and Cameron Powell. The duo illustrated how the native app fosters greater communication between doctors and patients, as well as data collection and sharing.

In the aftermath of the event, attention for AirStrip continues to grow, Bloomberg reports. CEO Alan Portela said he received several text messages from physicians following his company's presentation, and discussed the possibility of a future initial public offering, calling 2016 an important year.

"Everything is lining up that we control our own destiny," Portela told Bloomberg. "An IPO could be an interesting way to take the company to [the] next level."

Morgan Reed, executive director for ACT | The App Association, was among AirStrip's supporters.

"We're proud to see AirStrip take to Apple's big stage today and demo its incredible technology for the Apple Watch," Reed said in a statement. "The apps take full advantage of the powerful sensors packed inside the Watch, providing doctors and patients with live data on vitals--from anywhere."

Several Watch mHealth initiatives have made headlines of late. The MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper in New Jersey is deploying Watch devices with a custom app to breast cancer patients in a pilot program to track behavioral information. What's more, New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System is piloting the Watch to help patients manage high blood pressure.

For more information:
- watch the event
- check out the announcement regarding watchOS 2
- read the Bloomberg article
- here's Reed's statement