As I predicted last week, Apple announced this afternoon new features of the iPhone OS 3.0 platform that will enable a new host of mobile health applications, devices and services. Today's event at Apple's headquarters included speakers from LifeScan, a Johnson&Johnson company, as well as advanced functionality for connecting accessories like medical devices via USB and Bluetooth (Continua, are you reading this?). As I mentioned last week, the expected "push technology" update did, in fact, come to fruition as app developers can now send notifications to iPhone users even when their apps are not running live on the iPhone. This means medication adherence apps or other medical reminders applications are now more effective, because the user no longer has to remember to click on the app to get the reminders. Reminders can now be "pushed" to the phone like a text message.
Before showing off a blood pressure monitor, Scott Forstall, SVP of iPhone Software at Apple gushed: "Now here's a class [of services] that we think will be really interesting: medical devices." Forstall explained that the new iPhone OS will allow application developers to sync medical devices like BP monitors via both Bluetooth and USB.
"So imagine the possibilities," Forstall continued. "We think this is profound."
Forstall then brought up Anita Mathew from Lifescan, a Johnson&Johnson company, to demo an iPhone application that lets users upload glucose readings from their connected blood glucose monitors to their iPhone. The app then lets users send their readings and a message about how they're feeling to caregivers like their parents, children or physician. The glucose reader app also includes a meal builder and insulin schedule for easy tracking by tagging readings as pre- or post-meals. The iPhone app can even estimate, based on diet, how much insulin is needed after each meal. The app also shows glucose levels in a chart form and lists each previous reading.
We wrote about LifeScan previously for their role as an investor along with Sprint in WellDoc's ongoing pilot of a mobile phone-based diabetes monitoring system, that has resulted in an average of 2 percent drop in the users' A1c level.
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