Wearable technology saving lives… what we’ve been reading this week at Brand Genetics

Following the unveiling of new Apple is latest innovations, a particular insight caught our eye…

Predictions suggest that the wearables industry will be worth $25 billion by 2019. On top of this — wearable technology gives insights into biometric data which can be used in new research in understanding health issues. Since the watch is worn 24/7 this presents a major opportunity for the company to develop new and potentially life changing insights into health and wellness.

“For example on Wednesday, alongside the unveiling of the new Apple iPhone XS, Apple announced some impressive new health features for the fourth series of the Apple Watch. The FDA approved device now recognises when a user has fallen down, and also detects a heart condition called Arial Fibrillation (AFib). If the user remains immobile for longer than a minute, it sends an alert to the emergency services with the user’s location and also contacts a prechosen friend or family member. “We’ve added electrodes into the back sapphire crystal and the digital crown, allowing you to take an electrocardiogram,” said COO Jeff Williams, stealing the limelight away from the new phone release. “This is the first ECG product offered over the counter, directly to consumers.” Furthermore, the watch has been given “De Novo” clearance by the Food and Drug Administration which means that this is acknowledged as a totally new category of product.


While there is some scepticism about the actual health benefits of using such a technology, these new features are particularly interesting because they illustrate a shift in focus towards an older demographic: “fall prevention, AFib detection and slow heart rate alerts are ideally targeted to baby boomers, where the prevalence of these conditions is much higher,” Jeffrey Wessler a cardiology fellow at Columbia University Medical Center told CNBC. With baby boomers slowly, but increasingly adopting technology — with four in ten using smartphones and a 10% increase usage from last year — as well as retaining high spending high power, this could be a very smart and profitable move from Apple.

The Human Experience (HX) learnings?

As technology is increasingly interwoven into our lives, there are clear opportunities for positive innovation which have the power to improve both the longevity and quality of life through preventative means. With wearables on the rise, the release of this new Apple Watch illuminates the profound power of data analytics to enhance the human condition.

Clemmie Prendergast is a consultant at Brand Genetics, an insight and innovation agency specialising in human-centred insight and innovation. With a background in anthropology, she has a wealth of experience in behavioural science and psychology and has worked in strategy, insight and behaviour change.

Human-Centered Insight, Innovation and Trends from Brand Genetics www.brandgenetics.com

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