WSJ: Apple scrapped many advanced health features for Apple Watch

Apple Watch Cult of Mac 001

The Wall Street Journal is out with a report on Monday detailing that Apple had originally intended the Apple Watch to be a lot more.

The publication’s sources state that executives at the Cupertino-based company had envisioned a full-fledged health monitor, but many plans were scrapped after reliability and complexity came into play, perhaps paving way for features that could be found in a second-generation of the Watch due out in April.

Features that Apple had planned included monitors that could measure blood pressure, heart activity and stress levels, among other things, “according to people familiar with the matter.” After the plans were scrapped, it lead Apple with trying to figure out the purpose for the Apple Watch, and why customers would want to buy it.

Originally Apple wanted to advertise it as the one-stop medical device. Now that it’s unveiled, Apple is branding the Apple Watch as the device for information at a glance, Apple Pay, limited health monitoring like glucose levels, and apps.

“One of the biggest surprises people are going to have when they start using it is the breadth of what it will do,” Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said last week at an investor conference. Furthermore, he told the attendees that company executives at meetings will all get up at the same time, because all of their Apple Watches are going off due to their inactivity.

Another reason Apple ditched many of the health features is due to regulatory oversight. Last week, the FDA said apps that simply convey and track data will be left alone and won’t need specific approval by the FDA like apps that provide specific medical advice. The type of trackers originally planned would have probably drawn more scrutiny from the FDA.

Apple still hasn’t given a specific date for the Apple Watch’s launch, but has said it will be available for customers in April.

Source: Wall Street Journal