The first Apple Watch had a heart rate monitor built in, not because the company wanted heart health to be the primary focus but simply because it would give much more accurate step counting than rival fitness monitors which worked it out from the user’s height, for instance. But then, things changed.
“The first letter that we got about it saving somebody’s life with just the heart rate monitor, we were surprised, because anybody can go watch the clock and get their heart rate. But then we started getting more and more and we realised we had a huge chance and maybe even an obligation to do more. That led us down the path to do everything including medically regulated apps. Health is such an important dimension. But it’s just one dimension of the Watch. It does so much more, from telling the time to sending messages or making calls and so on. If you tried to sell a heart rate monitor to alert you to problems, you know, 12 people would buy it.”
There are so many capabilities to the Apple Watch, by contrast, that it’s gone on to become a best-seller.
The Apple Watch may have started out as a fashion item but it has quickly become a device to help us check, monitor, and maintain our health.