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Steve Jobs rejected the first health app, or how startups worked in 1977


Gather round, dear readers, it's storytime. In 1977, newly recruited cardiologist George Diamond wasworking on devices and methods to improve diagnostics of heartdiseases at LA's Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. His brilliant mind anda complex probability theorem aside, he didn't have very much to workwith - a TI-59 programming calculator with a whopping 1kb of RAM,which he used to write the first health app. It was a program thatcalculated the probability of heart disease based on test results,and we trust that he didn't name it “Heartie” or “Probabilify”.

Diamond quickly maxed out the calc'smemory, so he went to one of Santa Monica's first computer stores anddid what many creatives still do today - he bought an Apple computer.Using the $2700 (at the time) Apple II, which had significantlylarger 48kb RAM memory, along with two floppy disk drives, Diamondwrote the “complete” first health app - a program which analyzedmultiple diagnostic tests for diagnosis of coronary disease. Pleasedwith the result, he decided to give the whole app startup thing a try– decades before it was even a thing! Alas, one couldn't simplywhip up a Kickstarter page back in '77, so Mr. Diamond had to pitchhis project the old-school way - by phoning Apple in Cupertino. Whichhe did. A secretary put Steve Jobs on the line, and minutes later,the two arranged a meeting. The rest of the story is best told in thewords of George Diamond himself:

At the time, it seems Steve Jobs wasonly interested in building the best computer possible, andeverything else was a "distraction". So George Diamondthanked him, flew back to LA, and proceeded to become Dr. GeorgeDiamond, MD. Meanwhile, Apple became Apple, and is currently gearingup to introduce its first health app, Healthbook, which will debut iniOS 8 - a mere 37 years later.

via Forbes

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