Apple CEO Tim Cook said he has no plans of making the Apple Watch into a regulated medical device. Rather, he will make a new product to serve this purpose.
FDA approval: a deciding factor
In an interview with The Telegraph, Cook said if the company waited for the watch to get through Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing, then it will slow down its cycle too much and would act as a barrier to Apple’s innovation efforts. In the interview, Cook said he has no issues in putting the features in some another device through FDA testing.
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Talking about the other device, Cook said, “You can begin to envision other things that might be adjacent to it — maybe an app, maybe something else.”
FDA testing is a mandatory requirement for devices that are used for diagnosis or treatment of a disease. This indicates that the product Cook has in mind will perform a lot more functions than just tracking health activity and heart rate like most wearables do, including the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch may get some basic medical functions
The fact that the Apple Watch will not go down the full medical track is now confirmed, and this is the first time the company has spoken about it so clearly. The watch does not perform any basic medical functions at present, but speculations suggest Apple will work on adding health features to the device.
Prior to the release of the Apple Watch, there were reports that the device would be outfitted with all kinds of medical sensors. Cook’s latest statements suggest a change, but this doesn’t mean that Cook plans to move away from the company’s health vision altogether.
It can add some basic features to encourage wearers to adopt healthy habits that are not regulated by the FDA. If it adds anything too advanced, then the product will have to go through a process that would not only consume time but also require changes to the product or making improvements to the technology.
The Apple Watch is a mass-market product, and the company can rely on it year after year for giving its revenues a boost. Cook discussed the launch of the iPad Pro as well during the interview and made full use of the opportunity to trash its competitors, saying, “I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore?”