Report: Mayo to play role at big Apple announcement Tuesday


Apple Inc. is planning another rock-star style product rollout Tuesday as only that company can – and Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic will play a "big role," the Star Tribune reports.

The Rochester-based global health care giant aims to encourage more people to use technology to track and improve their health and fitness.

To that end, Mayo and Apple have been working in tandem for two years on a new app, called Health, that will be a part of the new products Apple unveils at its widely anticipated event at noon Tuesday, the Star Tribune reports.

Mayo intends to demonstrate that the app can collect data itself, in addition to storing data entered by a user – and that all the information can be efficiently funneled to a health care provider's management system, the newspaper reports.

Of course, the product has already drawn concerns about whether the data can be kept private, and Mayo and Apple will have to do some convincing of critics that it is safe to collect and store personal health information on a phone. Apple last week found itself the focus of criticism in the wake of hackers mining its iCloud backup system for photos of celebrities.

Mayo was one of the first partners Apple disclosed earlier this summer when its HealthKit framework was announced.

An Apple Insider report from June 2 offers a taste of what the new app can do:

"The Mayo Clinic is also working with Apple on a patient monitoring tool that ties into Health. Specifically, when a patient takes a blood pressure measurement, the data is saved and checked against previous personal results. If a reading is abnormal, the data can be automatically sent to a user's doctor for quick and seamless response."

Today's announcement: iWatch, new bigger phone

On Tuesday, it's expected that Apple will introduce a new iWatch that comes with an array of health and fitness monitors. The watch can collect user health info that could be sent back to the user’s smartphone or stored in the cloud, and later accessed by doctors, ABC News reports.

Apple is also expected to show off a new iPhone 6, as well as a larger, sapphire-glass screen phone that was designed as direct competition to the popular big-screen Samsung Galaxy.

Perhaps more than any other company, Apple has become famous for its high-profile product unveilings. Forbes puts it this way: "For fans and followers, journalists and analysts, to pop culture experts, celebrities, and late night chat show hosts, this Tuesday is going to be just like Christmas Day."

USA Today notes that the Tuesday event is being called a lot of things by observers: Coming out party. Inflection point. Critical moment.

It's rumored that U2 may make an appearance, USA Today notes.

The event is being held at Flint Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of De Anza College in Cupertino, California, not far from Apple HQ, where Steve Jobs first introduced the Mac in 1984. The highly secure site has been the focus of much speculation in recent weeks. Apple has constructed a mysterious, large white boxy structure next to the Flint Center (see drone video of the site here.)

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