Apple officials have been secretly meeting with the Food and Drug Administration over the past few years, discussing diagnostic apps and other unreleased health products.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16,17 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Apple’s sales, in the absence of idea man Steve Jobs, continue their downward slide as has its stock price. They need something really big, something as revolutionary as the iPhone once was. The one area that no one has yet broken into is human implantable devices that will eventually replace handheld mobile devices. The first step was getting the computer in front of you, second step was getting it on you, third and last step will be putting it inside you. We are just about there.
The conversations suggest that Apple has significant ambitions in health technology far beyond the nascent services it has publicly released so far — ambitions that may lead to new products that require government regulation as health devices.
The secret meetings were not listed on FDA public calendars. They were discovered and reported by Mobi Health News, which obtained emails between Apple and FDA officials through a Freedom of Information Act request.
What they talked about
In the sometimes redacted emails seen by Mobi Health News, Apple officials discuss several unreleased products including:
- Two “possible (and related) products in the cardiac space”
- A diagnostic app for Parkinson’s disease. Fast Company previously reported that Apple was working on an app to monitor Parkinson’s.
The “cardiac space” products are interesting, though the emails seen by Mobi Health News don’t have more details. The reporters speculate that it might have to do with an EKG attachment for the Apple Watch. AliveCor, a startup, makes a similar product called Kardia Band.
It’s also possible that Apple is planning to integrate better heart-rate tracking into future versions of the Apple Watch.
Plus, there have been rumors from earlier this year that Apple is working on a health-focused hardware device. And Apple CEO Tim Cook has hinted that a regulated medical device is something the company would be interested in. source