IBM Watson Health and Apple Watch and HealthKit update
There is a lot going on! Much of the news is rotating around Apple, IBM, and J&J. They all are getting into health – big-time. Remember that everything is connected.
Apple Watch is a decent place to start. Apple isn’t saying, but analysts are beginning to predict a successful launch for the Apple Watch – their new wearable. Pre-orders are predicted to have already passed 1 MM, and will soon pass 2 MM, which is more than all Android wearables sold in a year. They ship this month, so we will know soon.
Everything is connected. For example, IBM is connected to Apple. How? IBM announced that it is jumping big-time into the digital health game, with their new 2,000+ employee Watson Health Unit. They want to “share and analyze health data for greater insights into trends to improve individual and overall patient outcomes.” And guess what? They have a massive data cloud – called Watson Health. Linked to the Apple data cloud – called Apple HealthKit.
So here is the connection:
“IBM will apply Watson Health cloud services and analytics to Apple’s HealthKit and ResearchKit, two features announced with last month’s release of Apple Watch. HealthKit enables the collection of data from the Apple Watch, and ResearchKit enables Apple Watch wearers to take part in massive health data studies by sharing the baseline vital signs and activity data.”
So here is the plain english version of this: Apple Watch is just an appliance, like a phone or a Nike wearable. But the real value here is the data. And that data resides in Apple HealthKit.
HealthKit is their new data platform. Their watch is just one of many data links to their platform. It pulls data from, and adds data to, their new Health Platform, which they call HealthKit.
Everything is connected. J&J is in the game too – starting out with experiments in virtual coaching and diabetes management. Their “Patient Athlete” program will likely be the first of many. “We’re going to start this collaboration [with IBM’s Watson Health] with joint replacement surgery… joints, knees and hips.”
“ (IBM) Watson’s analytics and “cognitive” capability will enable the program to grow into a virtual patient coach, working with patient data to tailor a post-operative recovery coaching program.”
Everything is connected. Medtronics is in the game too – – working from data gathered from diabetes patients – like glucose monitors.
IBM announced a new business unit, Watson Health, that will offer cloud-based access to its Watson supercomputer for analyzing healthcare data.
The Watson Health Cloud will be an open source but secure platform on which care providers and researchers can share and analyze health data for greater insights into trends to improve individual and overall patient outcomes.
IBM, which made the announcement at the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in Chicago, also said it has acquired big data healthcare analytics providers Phytel and Explorys, whose software will be used in concert with Watson Health.
The Explorys platform enables healthcare systems to collect, link and combine data from hundreds of disparate sources across their enterprise and clinically integrated networks. This data will be derived from clinical, claims, billing, accounting, devices, community and patient information.
Phytel develops and sells cloud-based services that help healthcare providers coordinate care in order to meet new healthcare quality requirements and reimbursement models.
“Their data sets represent 90 million lives, primarily in this country,” said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of IBM’s Watson Business Group.
Additionally, IBM announced three new partnerships with Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and Medtronic to optimize consumer and medical devices.
IBM will apply Watson Health cloud services and analytics to Apple’s HealthKit and ResearchKit, two features announced with last month’s release of Apple Watch. ResearchKit enables Apple Watch wearers to take part in massive health data studies by sharing the baseline vital signs and activity data.
Apple engineers have been working with dozens of research institutes, such as the Mayo Clinic, in developing apps that will help in research on Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, asthma and breast cancer.
IBM will provide a secure research capability on the Watson Health Cloud platform, de-identifying personal data to allow researchers to easily store, aggregate and model information collected from iOS users who opt-in to contribute personal data to medical research.
Johnson & Johnson will collaborate with IBM to create intelligent health coaching systems centered on preoperative and postoperative patient care, including joint replacement and spinal surgery.
“There’s so much we have to learn with this sea of data,” said Len Greer, president of Health and Wellness Solutions at Johnson & Johnson. “We’re going to start this collaboration [with IBM’s Watson Health] with joint replacement surgery… joints, knees and hips.”
Johnson & Johnson recently launched Patient Athlete, a pre and post operative video health coaching program, but Watson’s analytics and “cognitive” capability will enable the program to grow into a virtual patient coach, working with patient data to tailor a post-operative recovery coaching program.
Johnson & Johnson also plans to launch new health apps targeting chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, which take up as much as 80% of $7 trillion global healthcare spending, according to Greer.
Medtronic will leverage the Watson Health Cloud insights platform to collaborate with IBM around delivery of new highly personalized care management services for people with diabetes. The system will receive and analyze patient information and data from various devices including insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors, and use this information to provide dynamic, personalized diabetes management strategies to patients and their providers.
Rhoden said Watson Health will include the open source sharing of code, so that any company can become a partner and develop applications for the platform.
“They’ll be solutions we bring to market, solutions we work with others to bring to market, and startups can even take advantage of the analytics to build future solutions,” Rhoden said.
(NEW YORK) — Estimates are already hinting that Apple Watch pre-orders may have hit one million units this weekend, surpassing the number of Android Wear sold last year.
Apple Watch pre-orders began on Friday in select countries, but one estimate says already that 957,000 people in the U.S. alone ordered the device on the first day.
The company that produced that report, Slice Intelligence, referred to their panel of two million online shoppers and found that 9,080 people in that panel had pre-ordered the Apple Watch this past Friday. That already surpasses the more than 720,000 Android Wear devices that sold last year, according to another research firm Canalys, which released its report in February.
Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray & Co. senior research analyst, called Slice Intelligence’s estimate “optimistic,” but Apple Watch’s launch is still strong.
Munster estimates Apple will ship close to one million Apple Watches by April 24, around which time he estimates Apple will have about 50 percent of the wearables market.
“We’re a little bit more measured,” he said. “But no matter how you cut it, it’s a good launch.”
Jaimee Minney, vice president of marketing and public relations for Slice Intelligence, told ABC News she wasn’t surprised with the early pre-order estimates for the highly anticipated wrist device.
In other Slice Intelligence research, Apple users were “far underrepresented” in the smartwatch market, even though Apple customer demographics were very similar to those of the smartwatch market.
“Apple users were waiting for the Apple watch, so when we saw this huge surge in demand, we were not surprised at all,” she said.
Meanwhile, Apple has so far remained silent on how many pre-orders it received.
Tim Coulling, Canalys senior analyst, agreed that he wasn’t surprised if Apple Watch pre-orders have already surpassed Android Wear device sales. Most recent examples of Android Wear devices sell for around $199.99 and up and include the ASUS Zenwatch, Moto 360, Sony SmartWatch 3, as well as Samsung and LG devices.
“There’s a lot of anticipation around the product. It’s far more advanced in terms of functionality,” Coulling told ABC News. “Apple’s brand is a very fashionable brand so it’s likely that people will buy the product as a watch as well as a smartwatch.”
But, Coulling said, he doesn’t expect Apple Watch sales to reach the same levels of those of the iPhone and iPad.
“There isn’t really an overriding reason to buy a smartwatch right now at the moment,” he said. “An iPhone is an essential communication device, like a smartphone. A tablet or the iPad is a computing device. A lot of people don’t even wear watches because they have a smartphone all the time.”
Apple and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.