Apple’s VP of Health Says Apple Has ‘Good’ Relationship With FDA, Will Continue to Do Great Work in the Health Space

Apple's VP of Health Dr. Sumbul Desai recently sat down for an interview with MobiHealthNews where she discussed Apple's health products, the company's relationship with the FDA, the success of the ECG feature on the Apple Watch, and more.

On the topic of Apple's relationship with the FDA, Desai said that while Apple has a "good" relationship with the FDA, the FDA asked "hard questions" about the ECG feature in the Apple Watch, which received De Novo clearance in the U.S. ahead of its release.


Apple gets no special treatment from the FDA and undergoes the same scrutiny any other company does.
With regards to the FDA, we have been working with them for years and we have developed a relationship. ... So we have a good relationship with the FDA. However, they held us to task. I mean, they asked us really hard questions and, given the size and impact we had, were very critical of our products and making sure that we're doing the right thing and thinking about the user first and the customer's safety first -- which they should do.
On the ECG feature, which was added in the Apple Watch Series 4 and is available in the U.S., Desai said that customer stories "have been amazing." Cook has gotten a "number of letters" from people who were able to detect atrial fibrillation and get help earlier than they might have otherwise been able to.

Response from doctors has also been "pretty decent," but cardiologists are still working on the best way to handle that kind of data coming from patients.

In response to a question about ECG and another new health feature, fall detection, being targeted to an older demographic that may not own the Apple Watch, but Desai says that these features can help everyone.
With regards to fall detection, I know that was the immediate place that people took it, but if you look at the stats, falls are one of the most common reasons for people to go into the emergency room across all age groups. So you can imagine, and this has happened to me, going up on your step stool to try to get some flour or sugar, no matter what age group you're in, and having a fall. And that happens. And so we really built fall detection for everyone.
Atrial fibrillation is also a condition that "affects everybody," and Apple has received positive responses from younger people diagnosed with the condition that were able to get help.

Desai says that Apple is "very interested in the health space" and will "continue to do great work" in health. She agreed with Tim Cook's recent statement suggesting health is the area where Apple may ultimately have the greatest impact on mankind. Apple has a lot to share in the future, says Desai, and is still "in the first inning."
We think health is an area where we can have incredible impact and meaningful impact. And how do you not work in a space, at the scale that we're at, and not have impact? So that is what drives us. What drives us is hearing from our customers that we've had an impact in terms of their health and we've really moved towards thinking about how do we democratize data, health and education, and really democratize being well for everyone.

We're excited about the work we do and there's a lot of exciting things ahead, but we take it day by day. I think Tim has also said that we're in the first inning, and I think we all recognize that as well.
Desai's full interview, which is worth reading for anyone interested in Apple's health initiatives, can be found over at the MobiHealthNews website.


This article, "Apple's VP of Health Says Apple Has 'Good' Relationship With FDA, Will Continue to Do Great Work in the Health Space" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Teams Up With Zimmer Biomet for Clinical Study on Joint Replacement

Zimmer Biomet, a company that develops joint replacement products, today announced that it is working with Apple to improve patient experience with Apple Watch and iPhone following knee and hip replacements.

A new Zimmer Biomet mymobility app uses the Apple Watch to "facilitate a new level of connection" between patients and their doctors as they recover from major joint replacement surgery. Through the app, patients will be provided with "support and guidance" while preparing for and recovering from surgery, with surgeons able to use the data to "optimize care."


In addition to collecting activity data and allowing surgeons to see recovery progress, the app can be used to send education and therapy reminders directly to patients.

Zimmer Biomet is launching a clinical study to determine the Apple Watch app's impact on patient outcomes and overall costs for joint replacement patients. Knee and hip replacements are common surgeries with more than a million occurring each year in the United States.

As part of the study, which will enroll up to 10,000 people, Zimmer Biomet says that patients will use the mymobility app on the Apple Watch as they progress through the hip or knee replacement journey. Patient reported feedback will be combined with health and activity data from the Apple Watch to see how the mymobility app impacts care.

Apple's chief operating officer Jeff Williams said that with the Apple Watch and Zimmer's app, patients will be able to participate in their own care in ways not previously possible.
"We believe one of the best ways to empower consumers is by giving them the ability to use their health and activity information to improve their own care," said Jeff Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Apple. "We are proud to enable knee and hip replacement patients to use their own data and share it with their doctors seamlessly, so that they can participate in their care and recovery in a way not previously possible through traditional in-person visits. This solution will connect consumers with their doctors continuously, before and after surgery."
Several facilities are participating in the new mymobility Apple Watch clinical study including academic centers, hospitals, and ambulatory surgery centers.


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‘AutoSleep 5’ Brings Live Sleep Tracking to Apple Watch and iPhone X Support

Third party sleep tracking app AutoSleep reached version 5.0 on Tuesday, introducing a slew of new features and improvements, including iPhone X support and live sleep tracking on Apple Watch.

With later models of Apple Watch benefiting from major improvements in battery life, many Watch owners now wear their device to bed. Despite this, Apple still doesn't provide a native sleep tracking feature in watchOS, which has allowed third-party apps like AutoSleep to step in and fill the void.


While AutoSleep can track sleep quality and duration using just an iPhone, one of the app's biggest draws has been its Apple Watch component. Up until now, users had to sync the app to their iPhone to review calculated sleep metrics, but with AutoSleep 5, the Apple Watch app can now automatically track sleep without needing any help from an iPhone.

With sleep independently calculated on their wrist, users have the ability to scroll through sleep quality rings, deep sleep stats, and recharge summaries using the Digital Crown or by scrolling with a finger.

The Watch-based Lights Off feature, which lets users track how long it takes them to fall asleep, has also been rewritten. The progress display now has muted colors for viewing at night, and shows how much time the user has actually been asleep versus time spent just lying in bed.

Back on the iPhone app, sleep detection is now considerably faster, while motion detection has been discontinued for users who wear their Watch to sleep, but remains an option for non-Watch wearers.


The information screens have also been unified, so instead of metrics and graphs being on a separate tab, everything now appears on one scrollable screen. In addition, sleep quality rings have been redesigned and are now more clearly labeled, making key information more easily available at a glance.

The sleep analysis graph has been moved to just below the sleep clock, and reveals different data points such as sleep zones and heart rate as the user scrolls. Elsewhere, the configuration and troubleshooting sections of the app have been modified to be easier to use, and AutoSleep now has additional share options for sleep recording notetakers and social media users.

In addition to iPhone X layout optimization, several other improvements have been made under the hood, according to the developer. More information can be found in the release notes for AutoSleep 5, which costs $2.99 on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4, iPhone X

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Workouts++ 2.0 Brings Apple Watch Podcast Playback, Siri Integration, Location Tracking, and More

Free third-party fitness app Workouts++ got its 2.0 release on Tuesday, bringing a wealth of new features and improvements to the software, almost a year after its debut on iOS and Apple Watch.

Users looking for an alternative to the native watchOS Workout app should find plenty to pique their interest in this update, which makes the most of new APIs available since the release of watchOS 4 and features a redesigned workout configuration system.


Highlights include the ability to download podcasts to Apple Watch for playback during workouts, support for LTE streaming, GPS tracking and mapping, as well as Siri integration and a plethora of watch display customization options.

The app also gains support for swimming and the display of VO2 Max values, additional stopwatch, elevation, average pace/speed and activity ring metrics for display during workouts, distance and duration alerts, plus a workout recovery feature in the event that the device's battery runs out during exercise.

Workouts++ is a free download for iPhone from the App Store.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
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