The next time you glance at your watch, it may tell you a lot more than just the time.

With the recent announcement of FDA approval for the first-ever consumer wearable health device – the electrical heart rate sensor embedded within the new Apple Watch 4 – lawmakers have begun paving the way for an entirely new industry of consumer-based healthcare devices. The significance of Apple’s De Novoclearance cannot be overstated (more on that below), and it foretells of a growing intersection between wearables, personal health, and the healthcare industry itself, which could drastically change the way we approach patient engagement and care.

In fact, these changes have been brewing for a long time, and the new Apple Watch serves as a lens through which we can explore how new digital health technologies and the increasing involvement of traditionally consumer technology giants will shape the future of health.

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