The Solid-Evidence Edition Monday, May 2, 2022

Some Health Apps Are Able Not Just To Diagnose Diseases, But Also To Treat Them, by The Economist

Since 2017 the FDA has approved more than 40 other health apps for problems as varied as diabetes, back pain, opioid addiction, anxiety, ADHD and asthma. They are reviewed under the rules for medical devices, usually in the moderate-risk category (which covers things such as pregnancy tests and electric wheelchairs).

Some European countries are designing special approval pathways that also stipulate how health apps are paid for through their health systems. In Germany health apps can get provisional approval for a year based on preliminary evidence of benefits, which obliges health insurers to pay for them. Apps that provide solid evidence from clinical trials get permanent approval. Twelve have already done so and another 19 are on the provisional list. France and Belgium are copying the German model.

Apps Not Busy Being Born Are Busy Getting Killed Off, by Nick Neer, Pixel Envy

But perhaps an elegant solution is the price Apple ought to be paying for being the sole source of native applications for iOS and iPadOS, its two most successful platforms by device sales. The App Store knows what device a user is browsing from, so it should only be offering compatible software anyway. That is possible regardless of whether the software was last updated yesterday or ten years ago.

Apple’s Overdependence On China Shows In $8 Billion Supply-Chain Snag, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

“When you back up and kind of zoom out, and look to see how the supply chain has done,” Cook said, “it’s been very resilient.” Everyone has struggled with the chip supply problems, he noted, and “I think we've done a really good job of managing through the Covid piece of it.”

That, of course, is fair. The company still managed to generate nearly $80 billion from just hardware in the second quarter, and analysts are estimating $62 billion in revenue from those products in the current quarter. But an $8 billion headwind is an $8 billion headwind, and Apple has never been a company to shy away from solutions.

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Doesn't Apple still have all the iPhone simulators that came bundled with Xcode? Maybe there is some way to preserve old iPhone apps on macOS?

On the other hand, Apple lack of nostalgia is injected into its DNA ever since Steve Jobs returned. I don't think preserving history, artistic or otherwise, is high up on the company's to-do list.


Thanks for reading.