Is the FDA making us wait for iWatch?

(Photo: Fuse Chicken)

(Photo: Fuse Chicken)

While some reports are claiming that Apple is still finalizing the specifications for its first generation iWatch ahead of the supposed October launch, another set of reports — supposedly backed up by insider sources — put forward another theory.

And it makes a lot of sense.

According to Chinese website Laoyaoba, Apple is awaiting certification from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to get the iWatch approved as medical equipment, before it enters mass production for a fall launch. It was reported back in January that Apple had met with the FDA to discuss a number of topics, and a Freedom of Information Act request recently revealed that Apple sees the push toward mobile health tracking as a “moral obligation” in keeping with Tim Cook’s desire for Apple to be a “force for good” in the world.

Since devices designed to track health and fitness — in addition to applications of the HealthKit API announced at WWDC (Mayo Clinic, Stanford Hospital & Clinics, Penn Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the Cleveland Clinic have all been disclosed as partners) — will have an important bearing on the wellbeing of users, it’s no surprise that Apple would have to jump through some hoops prior to releasing its next big product.

It’s already been reported that the iWatch will be far ahead of other existing smartwatches thanks to its smart sensors, and Laoyaoba’s report adds even more detail to this: claiming that the iWatch will have the ability to measure/analyze heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose, and sweat.

While a lengthy approval period is likely involved with bringing all of these to a mass-market device like the iWatch, most people expect that the iWatch will be revealed and launched in October this year.

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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