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Tim Cook confirmed at the recent Q1 results call that the Apple Watch is now scheduled to ship this April
As 2015 begins keen Apple watchers are staring at the space on their wrist and wondering if they need an Apple Watch on it. “The Apple Watch is powerful,” Forrester Research analyst Julie Ask told The Verge. “This does what a Fitbit or Jawbone or Nike FuelBand does, but it offers music and the apps integrated into the device.”
The smartwatch’s integration with health and wellness is one big reason people may want to wrap Apple around their wrist. After all Apple's Health app works with many makes of fitness tracker. But Apple Watch aims to be the best around. Apple CEO Tim Cook sits on the Nike board and Nike ceased development of its own FuelBand fitness tracker last year.
Alongside sensors including a heart rate monitor, Apple Watch software is designed to encourage healthy habits. The built-in fitness app aims to make fitness fun, allowing you to set personal fitness goals and offering an engaging way of monitoring your progress towards them. The device also tries to nurture better health habits, using a built-in reminder system which nags you, for example, if you’ve been sat down for what it perceives as too long.
This game-ification of health and fitness reflects international trends in health delivery. These days doctors urge patients to adopt healthier lifestyles in order to dodge avoidable health problems. These health problems are significant: over 64% of UK adults are obese, while lifestyle related conditions such as diabetes cost the NHS billions each year.
Apple and Cook are hopeful Apple Watch will help people change their ways: “Apple Watch gives us the ability to motivate people to be more active and healthy,” he said.
The other side of health data is making it available. Apple is working with health institutions, such as the Mayo Clinic, to develop systems to share Apple Watch user’s health data with their medical caregivers (doctors et al),