Physician viewpoint: The Apple Watch is helpful, but not a medical device

Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook's repeated assurances that the company's greatest contributions to the world will be in health, and even as expanded health tracking capabilities are expecting to be unveiled for the Apple Watch this week, some physicians are still skeptical of the device's actual impact on users' health.

"I think the Apple Watch is an incredibly good tool to engage patients, but it's not a medical device," Kevin Campbell, MD, a cardiologist at North Carolina Heart & Vascular, told Mashable. In order to be more useful to physicians, he said, the Apple Watch needs to not only gather more key data points but also use artificial intelligence to analyze and interpret the data it already collects.

Dr. Campbell also took issue with Apple's recent campaigns touting the "life-saving" abilities of the wearable, despite having neither the FDA approval nor enough scientific data to back up those claims.

"We have multiple anecdotes, multiple scenarios, where we discover an abnormal heart rhythm, and we were able to treat that patient and prevent a stroke. But that's not data, and you can't make that type of sweeping claim with any accuracy or legitimacy," he said. "Anecdotes are not data."

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