In fact, Apple has been thinking of introducing its own healthcare service backed by real doctors, the Wall street journal confirmed, although plans appear to have stalled.
An apple a day makes the doctor pay
Apple’s interest in the industry goes back years. “Health is a huge problem around the world and we believe it is ripe for simplicity and a new vision,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at a May 2016 conference.
Speaking in 2013, Ovum’s then-Lead Life Sciences and Health Analyst Charlotte Davies he told me: “More and more care will be provided outside of hospitals and clinics … mobile devices, from smartphones to monitoring devices, will become increasingly important as the number of patients seen at home or in sheltered accommodation increases or other community centers. “
In suggesting the scale of the company’s ambition, Cook told the Time 100 Summit in 2019:
“I think there will come a day when people who look back will say that Apple’s greatest contribution to the world was healthcare.”
Cook has consistently returned to this promise ever since.
What is the prognosis?
The story (via: Macrumors) in short it seems to be:
- Apple wants to offer comprehensive primary health care services that use collected medical and health data for iPhones and the Apple Watch.
- The company started working on the plan in 2016 when I wrote this.
- The subscription-based offering would include the provision of access to Apple’s doctors in health clinics. (I see this as a bit like Babylon Health).
- As part of the work, Apple has spent time evaluating how the data collected by Apple Watch can be used to improve healthcare.
- The plan also included ongoing health monitoring, which I imagine would be extended to remote health monitoring systems.
- The initiative appears to be under the wing of Apple’s chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, and is currently led by Stanford University’s Dr. Sumbul Desai.
- We were already aware that Apple controls health clinics near Apple Park. You use them to test new products and, apparently, you are also testing your services from there.
Apple has spoken of its clinics before, saying they exist as initiatives for internal employee health, and the WSJ The report cites that Apple’s response to the claims maintains that line. The report reveals a secret Apple app called HealthHabit. This is offered to employees to provide chat contact with physicians and to establish and meet health challenges.
This combination of remote healthcare and health goal gamification doesn’t seem to have hit the sweet spot, at least not yet: the report claims that app usage is low. Employees just haven’t developed the habit, or so it seems. .
Apple’s smart plan for digital health
That Apple would be exploring the potential of remote health monitoring systems It makes a lot of sense. His work with Apple Watch and partnerships with health insurance providers show that he has a good understanding of how sensor-based data can contribute to personal health, as does the company’s continued investment in research in this space.
It is also important to consider the need for digital transformation in healthcare to provide care on a planet with a growing population and insufficient trained medical staff. The idea here should be that routine tasks can be automated to allow physicians to handle increased patient workloads without affecting the quality of care provided.
In practice, of course, it probably just means that Big Healthcare will use these efficiencies to maximize gross revenue. The global health insurance market is worth more than $ 3 billion, which is a tempting market for any business.
Still not ready for prime time?
The Wall street journal You seem to believe that the effort to create an Apple-branded healthcare service has stalled, but I am inclined to reject that assessment. My hunch is that for the project to bear fruit, challenges around network coverage and regulatory approval must be resolved, along with Apple’s growing recognition that it is moving toward an ever-finer balance in which to avoid overextending their market power or face regulatory action.
At the same time, Apple’s privacy efforts, continued sensor and software development, and its network of retail stores could come into play should it decide to offer such services.
I hope we see more work emerge as 5G networks proliferate and new health sensors emerge. Because in the end, I am convinced that the Apple Watch and other connected wearables will become yours. personal physician.
Although until access to these solutions is universally available, health, like privacy, will remain a premium service intended for many, but accessible only to a few.