Thursday, September 10, 2015

Apple Pay & Health Kit: Furthering Medical Data

I've finally adopted the use of Apple Pay on my Iphone and the experience has been pleasant. Yes, if you compare pulling out your phone with the act of pulling a credit card out of your wallet, it may not seem that different. Before the Apple Watch makes payments as easy as a wrist movement, let me iterate some tangible benefits of Apple Pay usage on a mobile phone.

1. Security. Lose your wallet, and someone will be able to take your credit cards, forcing you to get new cards and put through fraud activity. Lose your phone, and they cannot access your cards without your fingerprint.

2. Convenience. It is easier to move a phone towards a payment reader and use a fingerprint to pay then to take out a wallet and remove a credit card. Swipe and put everything back. Let’s be honest, your phone was probably already in your hand while you waited on line. Just leave it there.

3. Receipts. Never worry about the annoying paper receipts that end up in your pocketbook or pants pocket only to be thrown out later on. The Apple Pay app keeps your payments listed neatly under each card. So you can quickly check whether the charge was correct or not. Without logging on to your bank I might add.
Receipts neatly featured within Apple Pay.

With these features in mind, let me describe a situation where Apple Pay benefits consumers beyond just convenience. It will also make us healthier. Here's how.

I began my use of Apple Pay by purchasing breakfast at Duane Reade. Some mornings I will grab an orange juice, banana, yogurt or some combination and head to the register, where, instead of taking out my wallet, fishing out a credit card or cash, I simply take out my phone, click passbook and hold it up to the reader. My phone buzzes and prompts me to verify payment with a fingerprint scan. A split second later, the transaction is complete. Afterwards, a notification tells me that the payment was processed and I now have a mobile receipt on my Iphone. Simple enough, but what if the items I purchased were instantly integrated into the health kit application. So the vitamin content, sugar content, caloric content is all seamlessly recorded in my personal account. People today looking to keep track of what they eat and drink must manually select each item, at the most they can hope to scan a barcode and have it enter, which is what FitBit’s app achieves. However, that is cumbersome and annoying, especially for those in a rush. With this setup, each mobile device user will have an entire history of their nutritional intake in the health kid app. Doctors will be able to pull up the profile of a patient and get a clear picture of their habits. Researchers will be better able to discern what diets and what foods cause disease. Or what foods and drinks prevent disease.

It is obvious mobile payments are going to become more and more prominent in the future. A small convenience can go a long way for consumers. However, the real takeaway so far is this thought of how to interconnect mobile payments and the health kit. That sounds like a healthier future for everyone, as each person is better able to understand what they are eating and can speak to the doctor about how their diet effects them. Not to mention the enormous amount of data this will provide medical staff, making it much easier to correlate factors that may cause various diseases. Mobile data and new technologies will revolutionize healthcare, how many times have we heard that? Every day it becomes clearer that this will indeed become a reality.