Make Way for Apple?

Among the big consumer-technology headlines of the last week was the news that Apple might be expanding into the health and fitness device world.

According to Reuters, Apple is “considering a full health and fitness services platform modeled on its apps store.” Apple is also said to be “ramping up its hiring of health tech and hardware experts,” according to TechCrunch, which speculated that the hiring spree is related to a future Apple iWatch with “health tracking features,” rumored to be in the later stages of development.

CNET also recently reported that Nike had fired the team that developed its Nike FuelBand and is shuttering its wearable-device division. An Apple-Nike partnership “would be a no-brainer,” CNET observed, with Nike integrating their software with Apple devices.

Assuming it’s true that Apple is moving into the already-crowded health and fitness technology market, the next question is: Why?

In my opinion, there are some very good reasons.

Apple already has a history of success going into technology sectors in which there are lots of players, but where the potential of the market or the technology remains unfulfilled. Apple’s unique talent is creating a user-friendly design/experience layer that speaks to consumers in a powerful new way. In doing so, the market catches fire and Apple becomes the dominant brand. No company in the world does this better.

Apple must see a burgeoning market full of innovative health technology devices and willing consumers, but no experiential/design component or easy-to-use platform that has yet defined the category. Their aim will be to do exactly that.

As the leader of a company that sees this same opportunity and one that also embraces the importance of design and user experience, I would look forward to Apple joining the field.

Health and fitness technologies need to be more intuitive, intelligent and more easily integrated into everyday people’s lives, not just the lives of gadget gurus. Apple will do this. At the same time, they will push all other Digital Health 2.0 companies that wish to remain competitive to evolve to a higher level of usefulness than simply tracking the number of steps we take or hours we sleep.

The ultimate promise of digital health, after all, is is a fitter, healthier world. Accomplishing this will require more than just a new device. It means giving individuals a whole new way to make health and fitness a sustainable part of their lives, every day.

That’s what we do at Koko.  We hope Apple can help do the same.
Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub

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About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.

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