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Summary

  • Apple, which filed documents for obtaining iWatch patent three years ago, has been granted patent last week.
  • Apple’s iWatch is expected to play a key role in its mHealth venture and it will launch a host of medical sensors that will be integrated with the iWatch.
  • In our original article we said that Apple's blood-glucose monitoring sensor is expected to be integrated with its forthcoming iWatch device.
  • Apple's iWatch patent-winning document confirms our view that the company has vast potential in the evolving mHealth market.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office last week revealed details of a device referred to as "iTime" in a patent granted to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for a "wrist-worn electronic device." The device is capable of integrating GPS, a heart rate monitor, accelerometer and haptic (tactile) feedback, Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry reported, exactly what we said in our original analysis. The device is expected to work as a mini-smartphone with built-in features including audio and video capabilities and a touchscreen interface for making phone calls, receiving text messages and using social media.

Wearable computing is an emerging concept building upon the success of today's mobile computing and communication devices, and we believe that Apple's venture into wearable computing will solidify its stronghold in the nascent mHealth market. Apple's recently introduced HealthKit, a new iOS software suite that will facilitate developers to create apps for monitoring patient data like heart rate, weight, blood pressure and glucose levels, is expected to thrive depending on iWatch. Apple is working with the Mayo Clinic and Epic Systems to explore possible uses for HealthKit based on iWatch. The USC Center for Body Computing says: "Wireless health is the one solution that puts the patient at the center of the health care discussion, and it is the one health care delivery model that scales. Digital health can extend the reach of our most talented physicians, preserve innovation and advance technology development."

Within the next couple of years, Apple's wearable medical sensors are expected to bring profound impact on patients' lives. The sensors will open a digital conduit so that doctors can monitor patients more readily, which will boost the quality of life of patients, specifically the aging population. For long-term investors, we feel that Apple is the best mHealth play due to its cutting-edge technology. To learn more, read our original article.

Business relationship disclosure: The update has been written by a BB Research stock analyst. BB Research is not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). BB Research has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Source: Update: Apple's iWatch Patent Has Been Approved