The next health push for Apple: apps for asthma?

Woman typing on Apple Mac in hotel bed
Image Credit: Apple (Image credit: Apple)

With only a week to go before WWDC 2019, hordes of Apple fans – and pundits – are looking to see what the technology giant will choose to unveil at the developer-focused conference. If Apple's recent acquisition of Tueo Health is anything to go by, it could have something to do with asthma.

Never heard of Tueo Health? The Singapore-based startup started getting notice in 2017 after raising over $1 million in seed funding, while working on applications for mobile to help with user health (via CNBC).

The application in question was designed to help those with asthma – or those with kids with asthma – keep track of the hugely common respiratory disease.

Helping with health

Asthma affects 235 million people worldwide (via WHO). With hundreds of thousands of asthma related deaths each year, a mobile app for keeping asthma under control could do a lot more good than your average smartphone app.

It's interesting to see Apple make such a purchase, given the company's concerted push into health tech in recent years. Features like heart rate and step-tracking are common in a huge number of fitness wearables, but Apple's gone one step further with the ability to take your own in-depth electrocardiogram, or automatically alert the emergency services when you take a fall wearing the Apple Watch 4.

While there are a number of third-party iOS apps for monitoring your sleep cycles, we've also caught word of plans to make sleep tracking a built-in feature for the Apple Watch.

Apple usually makes use of WWDC to announce new features: we expect to see iOS 13 launch at the event, and we wouldn't be surprised to see talk of new health features incorporated into the presentation.

Health tech is only going to get bigger for Apple in the coming years, and this latest acquisition could be just the start of what's to come.


Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.