Apple names Nebraska Medicine, King's College Hospital as latest to use Apple Watch with patients

By Aditi Pai
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MD Anderson Cancer Apple WatchIn Apple’s second-quarter earnings call with investors, CEO Tim Cook highlighted three hospitals that were using the Apple Watch: Nebraska Medicine, Ochsner Health System, and London-based King’s College Hospital.

Nebraska Medicine, which Cook said is the latest hospital to adopt the Apple Watch, has launched apps that help doctors and patients communicate. The provider’s apps also offer doctors quick access to chart and dosage information.

Louisiana-based Ochsner Health System is using Apple Watch with hypertension patients to gather health data, like daily activity and blood pressure while King's College Hospital is incorporating the Apple Watch into clinical trials for ongoing care and monitoring of patients with cancer.

Apple Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri added that through Apple's partnership with IBM, which was first announced last year, during the quarter the companies launched 13 new apps, including apps for healthcare.

“There are now 35 apps in IBM's MobileFirst for iOS catalog that connect users to big data and analytics right on their iPads or iPhones,"Maestri said. "And we expect a total of 100 apps to be available by the end of 2015.”

Maestri also said that since announcing Apple’s partnership with Japan Post in April, which provides Japanese senior citizens with iPads that they can use to manage, among other things, their health, Apple has seen similar interest from other countries looking for ways to support their aging populations. 

Apple did not disclose Apple Watch metrics, because the company said they didn’t want to provide insights that could help their competition. But the company did say that revenue from its "other products" category was up 49 percent over last year and the contribution from Apple Watch made up more than 100 percent of the growth of the category. From Apple’s own market research, the company found that 94 percent of Apple Watch owners wear and use it regularly, if not every day.

A recent report from research firm Canalys estimated that Apple shipped 4.2 million smartwatches in the second quarter of 2105. Canalys pointed to two factors that hindered early sales of the Apple Watch. The first is that the company missed the holiday season and the other is that supply constraints stalled shipments for the first couple months after launch.

“…Apple and other vendors still face important challenges to make the smart watch a breakout hit,” Canalys Principal Analyst and Vice President Chris Jones said in a statement. “Improvements in performance, battery life, and sensor integration are needed to make future models more attractive, but it is the quality of third-party apps that will determine whether the Apple Watch will be a longterm success.”

Apple has had some trouble convincing big name third-party apps, like Snapchat, Google, and Facebook, to build Apple Watch versions of their offerings, according to the New York Times. The Times explains that companies like Facebook and Snapchat are unsure whether the form factor would make sense for its apps and are waiting to see how users are interacting with the device before building Watch versions of their own apps.

Cook revealed in the second quarter investor call that messaging and activity features are among the most popular uses of the Apple Watch. And social networking apps including Twitter, WeChat, and LINE are seeing the most usage among those third party apps that are available.