Apple Watch in Healthcare by Chris Forsberg and Markus Holm

My name is Chris Forsberg, and I’m the Global Lead Architect for our digital solutions in Sogeti
Which is a global IT consultant company with officies in 21 countries
We employ about 20 000 people in 1 500 locations
With me is Markus Holm, which is the lead of mobile in Sweden
He works with competence development of his peers
I have been involved in building hundreds of mobile apps, and even already some for the Apple Watch
The idea today is to share some experience, so how many developers are here?
Quite a few, and I will make you somewhat disappointed as I will not show any code or development tools
Since we only have 20 minutes I will talk about the possibilities that exist
But please don’t hesitate to catch us in the break, and we will show you the inside as well
First, I just want to say that it was very inspiring to hear about the open healthcare APIs (previous speaker)
I work mainly with private companies and not so much in the healthcare sector yet
But I see an opportunity here
I work as a mobile architect at Scandinavian Airlines, and when the team heard that I would talk here today
I mentioned the healthcare APIs, and instantly the development team (designers, developers, etc)
asked me what was available. I mentioned schedule visits, find clinics, and what vaccines I have taken
Vaccine, that’s perfect, no one remembers that. As we know where they are going, and necessary vaccines
My point is that these healthcare APIs can be used to combine info and functionality also in the private sector
An obvious question to ask is why I need a smart watch when I already have a smart phone
There are basically two reasons. The first is that the purpose of the watch is different than the phone
For the phone, we want to get the attention of the user for as long as possible and hopefully until he/she buys something
With the watch it’s the opposite. We want to say something and then get away as fast as possible
Not to take so much attention
The second reason is that I expect the watch to know more about me as it’s physically attached to me
For example health information, like my pulse and my movement
With that I have info about how much I stand and how much I move
There is also a security feature that require me to enter a code if the watch is removed from my wrist
On the technical side, I’m talking about the latest version (watchOS 2), where both the code and UI runs on the watch
Previously only the UI ran on the watch, which resulted in fairly poor performance
It’s also possible to do more things, like network requests without the phone close by
Because both the watch and the phone can make separate network calls, there is a new framework
(Watch Connectivity), so if new info is retrieved on the watch or phone, it can be shared to prevent requesting the same info twice
On the watch you can see an app that keeps track of the period, which is obviously useful for women
But also for men, who could keep track, and make sure to buy some flowers at the right moment to brighten the day
Just like on the phone, you can touch and swipe. If you touch harder, you can get a menu, which also save screen real estate
There is also the digital crown that can be turned to select in a list and zoom in and out on maps
As shown on the right, it can be used for time travel, so by turning it you can see things that have happened or will happen later
In the new version, we can access the mic, accelerometer, GPS, puls
By starting a training session, more detailed health info is available
It’s possible to play video and music, and that could be used to show first aid videos if something happens on the street
A very interesting output function is the haptic engine, that uses advanced vibrations and sound to notify the user
On phones a vibration is quite simple, but here it can be a pattern of strong and weak vibrations in combination
Users can learn to recognize these notifications, and understand what it means without needing to look at the watch
One of the most important uses of the watch is notifications, and a classic example is to be reminded to take a pill
There is a built-in logic for when the notification is shown on the watch or on the phone, so it’s not up to the developer
When the notification comes, the developer has to make sure that the other device also get any shared info
The health info can be used to notify the user, so if I have had high pulse without moving, I’m probably stressed
One such function that Apple have built into its activity app is that it reminds the user to stand up sometimes
Which was an eye-opener for me as I realized that I sit too much
There will also be add-ons with more functionality, like wristbands with additional sensors
It may even be sensors that are inserted under the skin, like a glukos sensor
Then a healthy person could be advised to eat when it’s low, and a diabetic could be asked to move or take insulin
A lot will happen here with many thrid-parties adding sensors, as it has Bluetooth
Many things in the apps is the same as for the phone, but here I will focus on the specifics for the watch
A new feature is called glances, where each running app has a summary screen with the most important info
As a patient it could show when I should take my next pill, or for a physician it could be the number of people in the waiting room
To the right you see in the corners of the watch face small pieces of info (complications) from apps
It could be the weather app showing the current temperature, how much battery that is left, the current date, etc
When you build apps, you can add a number of these complications that can be shown directly on the watch face
The hard part is that there is no time to do something when the user looks at the watch, so the info need to be there already
The solution is to provide the watch with the info in the form of a timeline that the watch will manage
This also means that your app can take part in the time travel that I showed before
There are some other possible integrations, like maps. It’s possible to add pins, but not to interact with the map
Instead, when the map is tapped, the standard map app is started, to get things like directions
The standard map app, as we will see, can be started from your app to give directions
It’s also possible to ask Siri for directions, and they will be shown in the map app
Integration is also possible with the calendar, to add booked times, and contact, to add clinic or the family doctor
Now it’s time for a demo
To make this authentic, we want Markus to cut his finger
Here is the app, and please note the app icon
The scenario is that Markus has cut his finger, and want to find a clinic, so he selects that function
We first got the position using the GPS and used that to make an API call to get the clinics within a specific range
The result is a list, and when one clinic is selected, more details about the clinic is shown
On the details screen is info about the opening hours for calling and visits, as well as address and phone number
With a force touch, the clinic can be called directly. It’s actually the phone making the call, but with a headset
the call can be initiated from the watch, without the need to pick out the phone from my pocket
When the map is tapped, and a method of travel is selected, we get the directions in the map app
As you can see, it’s a first version feeling, like iPhone 2007, but it’s a promising technology
Many companies already have watch apps, so it’s really exiting, and I hope you also think so
Question from surgeon: how about all of us that cannot wear watches when we work?
It’s a great question, and it’s hard in many ways, both hygiene and the wireless tech that disturb medical equipment
Question about the API call: in the demo app, could you filter in the API or did you have to add logic for that in the app?
Good question, and we actually wanted to filter on a specific clinic type which was not yet in the API
However, it shows an important point that an API is like a serious web site or an app, it has to evolve and improve over time
Host: You will be here during the break and if anyone want to see the code that’s possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *