Apple CEO, Tim Cook, says healthcare is an “enormous” opportunity for Apple. It's led to the Health app, HealthKit, ResearchKit, and, more recently, CareKit. Last week, Apple hired a medical doctor. In the summer, they hired a pharmaceutical executive and an endocrinologist specializing in diabetes. The new iPhone, Apple Watch, and iOS software are more health-focused than ever before, promoting health in a number of different ways.
How is Apple helping people prevent and manage diabetes?Apple is using mobile tech to help people sleep better, reduce stress, eat healthier, and be active. All of these things can prevent diabetes, and, if diagnosed, help keep it in check.
1 - Promoting better sleepSleep is critical for everyone. Both not sleeping enough (less than 7 hours) and sleeping too much (more than 8 hours) can lead to diabetes. People (with or without diabetes) who don't get good shut-eye tend to make unhealthy food choices. Blood glucose is harder to manage, and it takes a toll on physical and mental health.
- Enter what time you want to wake up and what days you want to wake up at that time.
- Set goals for how many hours of sleep you want each night, and get a reminder when it's time for sleep, and an alarm when it's time to wake up.
- See your full sleep history, and keep track of how well you've been doing.
2 - Promoting less stressStress and diabetes go hand in hand. Unhealthy responses to stress (e.g. emotional eating, drinking too much, etc.) can wreak havoc on our bodies. When we're stressed, it can be difficult to take good care of ourselves, manage blood glucose levels, eat healthfully and stay on top of our medications. What's the solution? Mindfulness: bringing your attention to the present, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings and thoughts. Studies show mindfulness helps keep blood glucose levels in range.
- Reminding you to relax, focus, and meditate.
- Guiding you through a series of deep breaths.
- Displaying a series of circles that expand and contract as you breathe with the app.
- Giving taptic feedback during each Breathe session.
- Displaying completed Breathe sessions and a user's heart rate.
3 - Promoting healthier food choicesWhen people think about diabetes, they instantly think about food. Food choices have a big impact on diabetes management and development. Healthy eating is key to managing blood glucose and living a long, healthy life.
4 - Promoting physical activityPhysical activity is good for everyone. For people with diabetes, exercise helps blood glucose levels. Apple Watch Series 2 can help iPhone owners with diabetes who want a fast and durable activity tracker. Like the first Watch, the Series 2 measures steps, calories, distance, heart rate, and logs workouts. The new Watch Series 2 has some additional perks. It has a standalone integrated GPS, a faster processor, and is water-resistant. It's designed for more types of activities and wearers. It's for people who want all of their activity tracked on land or in water, and without their iPhone nearby.
- improves cardiovascular fitness
- strengthens major muscles, so muscle cells can better absorb glucose
- is less stressful on the feet than other activities
- prevents joint injuries or arthritis for people who are older or overweight