Introduction: What is the trend?
At the moment, there are many trends in the field of digital technologies. However, not all of them are suitable as initiatives for further significant innovations.
In the Apple context, an area in which further research can be successfully done is in the health sector. The digital health trend is ensuring the safety of human life through the gadgets they use. With the development of technology, a person is more and more attached to electronic wearable devices, and they should become the main tools for monitoring health (Duberstein, 2020).
Besides, this area is rapidly gaining momentum because of the proliferation of new technologies that allow you to combine monitoring tools with gadgets’ comfortable use. For example, one of such initiatives is flexible hybrid electronics, which, due to its adaptive properties, can bring conventional healthcare closer to digital (Ma et al., 2020).
What does it do for the consumer?
First of all, it is worth mentioning purely medical devices, which are attached to the human body in one way or another. For example, a device placed on the chest can measure blood pressure and pulse wave velocity without any complicated procedures (Ma et al., 2020).
Currently, many companies take the primary elements of such devices and transfer them to wearable gadgets. This is the case for Apple, which integrates the electrocardiogram function into the Apple Watch (Duberstein, 2020).
In general, the combination of digital wearable electronics and the healthcare field allows a person to monitor essential parameters of their condition on the go continually. Simultaneously, modern technology allows you to track such simple parameters as heart rate and complicated ones, such as chronic diseases’ manifestations (Osae-Larbi, 2017).
In an era of the accelerated pace of life, when people often do not have time to make an appointment with a doctor, such remedies can significantly improve people’s condition through constant monitoring.
Why is the trend emerging now?
Even apart from business companies, the current healthcare industry is undergoing tremendous changes due to the widespread integration of digital technologies. This is confirmed by a considerable amount of research on various areas of this topic: from management to socio-economic aspects (Kraus et al., 2021).
Besides, there is a trend towards improving the quality of life and a healthy lifestyle in society, dictated, again, by technological progress. While human life is becoming easier in many aspects thanks to high technology, the community is beginning to think about human life’s importance.
The attention is also drawn to this problem due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, within which more and more people are trying to monitor their health. The need to control the state of the body leads to the use of convenient tools in the form of smartphones, smartwatches and other gadgets that are with a person at all times (Kapoor et al., 2020).
What is changing?
First of all, the way and the pace of human life change, which is especially clearly seen in the example of large metropolitan areas. This is also partly due to the increase in people’s number, which gradually leads to overpopulation. In these conditions, it is extremely difficult to get qualified help, so people often try to monitor their condition continually, resorting not to treatment but prevention (Meskó et al., 2017). In such a context, the use of digital health tools is most beneficial to the user.
Besides, as mentioned above, the main factor in changing the situation is technological progress and the spread of wearable gadgets. These trends allow the widespread distribution of both diagnostic software in smartphone applications and hardware in the form of various sensors (Duggal, Brindle, and Bagenal, 2018).
Finally, with the emergence of new diseases such as COVID-19, better monitoring tools, and the deterioration of people’s general health, the need to continually monitor their condition also increases.
What new consumer needs, wants and expectations are created?
One of the main requirements for any system’s functioning is its reliability, debugging, and precise regulation, both utilizing the companies themselves and at the state level. In this context, digital electronics is no exception.
Using software and hardware designed to monitor health, the user should face a minimum of problems and implementation complexities. This is why it is vital to clearly establish a regulatory framework that, however, will not stifle innovation (Duggal, Brindle, and Bagenal, 2018).
The experience of other structures, for example, state ones, can help to implement this principle partially. In practice, small teams of digital professionals working together with progressive leadership on a specific task have shown the most outstanding results in this area (Benjamin and Potts, 2018). Complexity and bureaucratization, in this case, can only hinder the work of the entire structure.
The second essential requirement of users is the safety of the collected personal data. Implementing digital health structures is impossible without containing unique parameters of a person since the accuracy of calculations depends on these data, for example, height, weight, walking routes. Therefore, it is necessary to achieve cross-border measures to protect users’ data and develop a system for collecting and storing information (Duggal, Brindle, and Bagenal, 2018). This requires a clear definition of parties’ rights and obligations involved in digital health programs (Lupton, 2017). This point is significant since, in case of a possible leakage of users’ data, the consequences can be catastrophic. A person using such services must be sure of the system’s reliability and security and use it without any fears.
How are other businesses applying this trend?
The prevalence of this method has one crucial advantage: there are many companies from which to follow the example of implementing digital health approaches.
For instance, Alivecor uses the format of conventional gadgets, namely smartphones, to implement portable ECG devices that allow monitoring heart activity without going to a doctor (The top 100 digital health companies, 2020). Thus, there is a fusion of the format familiar to users and high technologies, which allow prevention without any effort.
However, media companies, for example, Google and Samsung, are actively involved in this trend, each of which is implementing its own platform for tracking a person’s state (Zając, 2020). Both platforms trace various aspects of daily life, such as sleep quality, steps taken, and calories burned, allowing users to control their activities better. A similar system is also beginning to be used by many eastern companies, for example, Xiaomi.
The convergence of digital technologies and healthcare is one of the most popular trends at the moment. It manifests itself at the professional level in medical institutions and in ordinary people’s everyday lives through gadgets. That is why it is so relevant at the moment in connection with the ubiquity of high technology and wearable devices.
Various kinds of fitness bracelets and applications for smartphones have become common manifestations of digital health surveillance tools at the moment. Apple, which has a leading position in this market, will only benefit from investing in this area.
At the moment, Apple Inc. Already has several initiatives in health monitoring and application development in gadgets. However, according to the company’s CEO, Tim Cook, Apple is actively developing this direction, intending to make it part of its legacy.
Consequently, this direction may become promising for the introduction of further innovations and reinvention.
Benjamin, K. and Potts, H.W. (2018). ‘Digital transformation in government: Lessons for digital health?’, Digital Health, 3, pp. 1-5. Web.
Duberstein, B. (2020). ‘Where will Apple be in 10 years?’, The Motley Fool. Web.
Duggal, R., Brindle, I., and Bagenal, J. (2018). ‘Digital healthcare: Regulating the revolution’, BMJ, k6. Web.
Kraus, S., et al. (2021). ‘Digital transformation in healthcare: Analyzing the current state-of-research’, Journal of Business Research, 123, pp.557-567. Web.
Kapoor, A., et al. (2020). ‘Digital healthcare: The only solution for better healthcare during COVID-19 pandemic?’, Indian Heart Journal, 72(2), pp. 61–64. Web.
Lupton, D., 2017. ‘Digital health now and in the future: Findings from a participatory design stakeholder workshop’, Digital Health, 3, 1-17. Web..
Ma, Y., et al. (2020). ‘Flexible hybrid electronics for digital healthcare’, Advanced Materials, 32(15), p.1902062. Web.
Meskó, B., et al. (2017). ‘Digital health is a cultural transformation of traditional healthcare’, mHealth, 3, 38. Web.
Osae-Larbi, J.A. (2017). ‘Digital technology healthcare solutions in an era of moving populations and chronic illnesses: Are we being realistically smart’, EMJ, 2(2), pp.28-34.
The top 100 digital health companies: An infographic. (2020). Web.
Zając, P. (2020). ‘Digital health on a big scale. Apple, Google and Samsung know how it’s done’, Untitled Kingdom. Web.