Health Value Of Apple’s Watch Questioned
Health care professionals say there is little evidence the new watch surpasses gadgets already on the market, although more health features may be in store, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, The Associated Press examines tensions between Silicon Valley tech giants and government regulators.
Reuters: Health Developers, Doctors Want To See More From Apple's Watch
Technology pundits were quick to predict the demise of most fitness wristbands and smartwatches when Apple Inc launched its Apple Watch. But healthcare professionals and fitness junkies were left wanting to see more. Observers say there is little evidence for now that the device's fitness capabilities surpass the competition. Others, hoping for groundbreaking health features from a company whose Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook spoke of how sensors are "set to explode," were left wondering what's in store for the product. Two people familiar with Apple's plans told Reuters the company is planning to unveil richer health features and additional sensors in later versions, the first iteration not hitting the market until early 2015(Farr, 9/11).
The Associated Press: Silicon Valley Struggles To Speak FDA’s Language
Silicon Valley is pouring billions into gadgets and apps designed to transform health care. But the tech giants that have famously disrupted so many industries are now facing their own unexpected disruption: regulation. Before tech companies can turn America's smartphones into portable medical suites, they must meet the rigorous standards of the Food and Drug Administration ... "This is a culture war," says Steve Grossman, a longtime FDA consultant to companies. "Silicon Valley is used to just bringing their products straight to the market and any regulatory scheme that involves scrutiny and delay is alien to them” (Perrone, 9/12).
The Associated Press: 23AndMe CEO Navigates Health Regulation
No Silicon Valley company better embodies the promise and the pitfalls of working in health care than DNA testing firm 23andMe. ... CEO Anne Wojcicki laid out a bold plan to make genetic testing affordable to the general public, while simultaneously building a massive archive of DNA results for use in medical research. More than 700,000 people have used the company's test kit ... But last November, the Food and Drug Administration ordered the company to stop marketing its personalized health reports, which purported to tell customers if they were genetically predisposed to more than 250 diseases and medical conditions. Now, 23andMe is working to win FDA clearance for its health tests one at a time, a process that will take years. Wojcicki spoke to The Associated Press about operating under FDA oversight and the future of her company (Perrone, 9/11).
Also, companies mining health data spur privacy concerns -
Bloomberg: Did You Know You Had Diabetes? It's All Over The Internet
Dan Abate doesn't have diabetes nor is he aware of any obvious link to the disease. Try telling that to data miners. The 42-year-old information technology worker's name recently showed up in a database of millions of people with "diabetes interest" sold by Acxiom Corp., one of the world's biggest data brokers. One buyer, data reseller Exact Data, posted Abate's name and address online, along with 100 others, under the header Sample Diabetes Mailing List. ... Tapping social media, health-related phone apps and medical websites, data aggregators are scooping up bits and pieces of tens of millions of Americans’ medical histories. Even a purchase at the pharmacy can land a shopper on a health list (Pettypiece and Robertson, 9/11).