Who Are The Emerging Leaders in Wearable Workflow?

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Who Are The Emerging Leaders in Wearable Workflow?

  • Apple
  • Google
  • Samsung
  • Salesforce
  • Intel
  • Vandrico
  • Blackberry
  • Jawbone

I’ll not provide a detailed account of how I derived this list. I literally simply asked myself this question, and these are the companies that came to mind. In other words, it is an idiosyncratic list. I will, however, describe my general criteria for why a company interests me, from a wearable workflow perspective.

If you go back to my discussion of orchestrated versus choreographed wearable workflow in What’s The Connection Between Wearable Workflow Platforms and Health IT? you’ll recall the need for either a maestro directing the orchestra or distributed proactive cooperative behavior. In either case, app-to-app behavior is called for. The apps may be on different wearable devices, but it’s still app-to-app behavior. App-to-app behavior has been quite a bugaboo in the mobile health space. Everyone loves their tablet or smartphone, but many hate their EHR. So why not replace EHRs with collections of apps! The problem here is two-fold. First, mobile apps don’t share patient data and context. Second, app-to-app navigation and coordination is, in some ways, even worse than moving from screen-to-screen in a traditional EHR.

Regardless of whether wearable workflow relies on orchestration (workflow engine in the cloud) or choreography (local customizable rule-based interaction) apps on wearable devices will need to communicate, coordinate, etc. So the companies I’m most interested in are those that either have some kind of app-to-app tech, or the kind of sophisticated cloud infrastructure that could participate in a an ecosystem of wearable device to wearable device communication and coordination. Apple is heading down this path with recent iOS upgrades and Continuity. Blackberry has the Flow app-to-app system. Samsung also calls its nascent app-to-app system Flow. Android has had an app-to-app invocation system for some time. It’s likely that wearable device to device workflow tech will evolve out to, or at least leverage this kind of technology.

Then there’s the workflow engine in the cloud approach. Google and Amazon (not listed, maybe next year when they wade more fully into the wearable space) both have cloud-based workflow tech that could be adaptive to orchestrating wearable workflows. Vandrico is a small company in Vancouver, BC, specializing in cross-platform wearable notification management. Their server sits between legacy systems (say hospital EHRs) and wearable devices such as smartwatches. It can format and distribute and accept, in return, acknowledgements and inputs from wearable devices. Salesforce also uses workflow tech, and is bringing cross-platform cloud support to wearables. Jawbone has received enormous private investment, compared to all other wearables. With multiple devices and apps, Jawbone is a natural investigator of wearable healthcare workflow. Finally, Intel, whose chips are to be used in the next version of Glass, already has a partner, Symphony Teleca, working on auto/home automation integration. Wearables are a natural add-one.

Like I said, these are just the companies that pop in to mind, when I ask myself who are the emerging wearable workflow players. I see new potential participants almost every week. It’s really not about the hardware. The hardware are just analogues to desktop widgets. It’s the systems behind the systems that will determine who will dominate wearable tech for the next decade.

I hope you’re find this series on wearable workflow interesting! If so, please proceed to my next post: How Fast Will Wearable Workflow Become A Reality? It’s actually pretty short. 🙂

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