What Does Apple’s “Significant Contribution” to Healthcare Mean?

Posted on  February 20, 2018

 

What Tim Cook Is Saying About Apple’s Future

With over $7 trillion spent in healthcare in the last year, the industry constitutes almost 10% of the global GDP.  Apple CEO Tim Cook is running full force claiming, “The healthcare market makes the smartphone market look small,” and that “healthcare is big for Apple’s future.”

This is apparent in the way Apple has rebranded itself. The company is currently focusing its energy on business to business marketing instead of its usual role as a developer for consumer electronics. Apple’s soft entry into the healthcare market originally started in 2014 when introducing the Health app and Health Kit. Since then Apple has made more progression with products such as the Apple Watch and the app ResearchKit. This is an app that allows researchers to use iPhones to conduct large-scale studies. Apple is now marching towards market penetration by acquiring the digital health company Glimpse.

Will This Help or Hinder Healthcare Providers?

Apple has some clear advantages when entering the healthcare industry. The company already has brand awareness. iPhones are ubiquitous and Apple has over one billion current users of its devices. The company is making strides quickly as its app ResearchKit is being used by more institutions while Apple has partnered with the FDA to detect cardiac anomalies, and company leaders have stated that the Apple will be involved with diabetes and heart-disease management. Since these are two of the ultimate cost drivers in the United States, Apple could possibly gain a big share of the current market.

The most profound advantages Apple has are its direct-to-consumer relationship, which has built trust and would reduce friction when asking consumers to sign up for studies, and it’s convenient. Apple has already introduced a health application on iPhones which can track nutrition, exercise, sleep, and mindfulness. The company is currently in the process of developing more medical device innovations for Apple users such as being able to track pulse, body fat, and blood pressure.

How Healthcare Providers Can Compete

There is a major way healthcare providers could continue to maintain strong relationships with patients. According to a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) this can be accomplished by the following methods:

  1. Ensure patients have a positive perspective: this can be accomplished by simply focusing your attention on your patients so they feel they are heard.
  2. Eliciting patient responses: any person who is feeling ill yearns to be a part of his/her treatment process. By having patients give their own explanations of their illness and repeat their understanding of possible treatments, they feel more empowered.
  3. Give patients information: Many patients expect that when seeing a medical professional they will be able to gain an understanding of what is wrong. By giving patients accurate and thorough information, they will feel more aware of how they can continue the quotidian.

 

Ultimately, although Apple has numerous advantages when entering the healthcare market, there are better practices and ways that current healthcare providers can compete. These can include electronic appointment reminders, personalized service, or if possible, phone consultations or video chats.

 
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