Apple plans to debut a new wearable device next month likely to tap its HealthKit platform and possibly also take advantage of its HomeKit framework that controls connected devices, according to a Re/code report. The device, which some media outlets have dubbed the "iWatch," reportedly will let users track health and fitness and feature a curve display, according to a Business Insider article.
Apple is not commenting on the impending device or launch date, according to Re/code, although the company sent out invitations on Aug. 28 about a product launch event on Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. PT, Business Insider reported in another post. There had been reports the iWatch would debut in October.
In April, it was reported that health insurers may subsidize Apple's forthcoming smartwatch offering. The product also is rumored to include medical sensor technologies allowing users to monitor health, exercise and diet.
It has been a busy year for Apple in terms of mHealth initiatives and healthcare device strategy. Apple has been hiring medical scientists and engineers and meeting with federal regulators on required oversight regarding development of glucose-measuring features in wearable devices.
What's more, the company also has been meeting with healthcare providers to establish its HealthKit platform as a healthcare data hub. Several major health systems already are using EHR vendor Epic's software to integrate health and fitness data from HealthKit into Epic's MyChart personal health record software. What's more, Kaiser Permanente is piloting mobile apps that leverage HealthKit.
In late July, reports surfaced that Apple iOS support may play a role in a joint bid by IBM and Epic to develop a new EHR system for the Department of Defense. That news came shortly after IBM and Apple announced they were partnering to push out iPhone and iPad healthcare applications.
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