“We need the killer app for wearables”…. #HITSM

I love twitter chats — I almost always just stumble on them and get sucked in. As Vanessa just mentioned, “you were literally just glued to your phone, I thought you were going to trip.” I love the chaos, the ideas and the inertia.

So I just got out of the #HITSM chat. transcript here

I mainly participated in the wearables/patient generated data portions, because thats where I live with NextStep.io. As usual to these discussions, I heard that we “need the killer app for wearables.” This is something that I hear everywhere. About the only place I don’t hear it, is from investors who love to say, well, Fitbit is crushing it, what’s stopping them from building x into their app. Is it really that simple to just “build a feature into an app,” to become killer?

Beyond the irony of a “Killer” app that is going to help us all live longer by getting healthy, I believe there are some things to point out. Some of the most successful “killer apps,” go well beyond the mantra used by most startups — aka, do one thing really, really, well. Lets look at Uber: Uber provides the rider a magical experience, you press a button and a car appears to give you a ride. Sounds simple, right? Well, then there is the Uber Partner App, which drivers use to respond to ride requests. Then there is the Uber Partner Dashboard, which is used to manage payments and other “business requirements.” Plus all the software behind the scenes used to oversee this force that disrupted a major establishment. They created a marketplace, not a killer app…but it is a killer app.

So what about health? I think by saying we need a killer app for wearables, most people are saying — these things have potential, but how do we unlock it? The killer app for wearables will be a connection to something just as powerful as the Uber marketplace (not saying its a marketplace) — something that is so magical, that when we press a button, we’ll no longer want to go back to the way life was before. Yes, I’m comparing healthcare to the smelly, unreliable cabs of last century.

One thing is for sure, the killer app for wearables is not just one app, and building it isn’t simple. But for it to win, it needs to be simple for it to be killer.