“Apple CEO Tim Cook talked up the company’s ambitions in the health-care sector on Tuesday, hinting that it will move beyond wellness apps and devices, like its step-tracking Apple Watch,” Christina Farr and Paayal Zaveri report for CNBC. “Cook acknowledged at the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Cupertino, California, that the health-care sector, which is notoriously complex, doesn’t always encourage new players to innovate. But he reassured shareholders that he views Apple as having a ‘great position,’ in the sector, by taking a more consumer-friendly approach.”

“To get beyond wellness, Apple will need to work with federal regulators going forward. Cook also said at the meeting that he’s ‘not worrying’ about whether the government will agree to reimburse its offerings,” Farr and Zaveri report. “Apple is already collaborating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a pilot program to help the agency figure out how to regulate lower-risk digital health products. While it might not be getting widely reimbursed by insurers, it has locked down a partnership with health insurer Aetna to get discounted Apple Watches into the hands of its members.”

“Cook also mentioned the company’s efforts to bring medical records to the iPhone. This product is still in beta, and only about a dozen hospitals are signed up, although the company has big ambitious to open this up more broadly to the entire U.S. health-care ecosystem,” Farr and Zaveri report. “‘The more and more time we spend on this,’ explained Cook, ‘the more excited I am that Apple can make a significant contribution here.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple is uniquely positioned to accomplish this very formidable task.

One of the biggest issues in healthcare in the U.S. today is that there is no “Quarterback” – someone running the effort, coordinating the various specialists, making sure everyone is on the same page with the treatment plan(s), drug interactions, allergies, etc. A “playbook” showing the full picture of the patient’s health data would be very useful – and let the disparate medical personnel each quarterback on their own. Hopefully, Apple can step in, build, and fulfill this need with the company’s vaunted security and privacy.MacDailyNews, August 22, 2016

The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs developed pancreatic cancer in 2004. He then spent a great deal of time with doctors and the healthcare system until his death in 2011. While that personal health journey had a great impact on Jobs personally, it turns out that it affected Apple’s top management, too. During this time, Jobs discovered how disjointed the healthcare system can be. He took on the task of trying to bring some digital order to various aspects of the healthcare system, especially the connection between patients, their data, and their healthcare providers…

I have long been observing these key moves around healthcare, which accelerated after Jobs’ death. It seems clear that Apple’s management has now and will continue to have a major focus on bridging the gap between a person and their healthcare providers. I believe Apple is on a mission to improve the overall health of its customers as well as that of the healthcare system, a task Jobs gave them before he died. And while Apple’s products define Jobs’ legacy, it may turn out that his and Apple’s greatest contribution may be to bring greater order to the fragmented healthcare world.

It is within this backdrop that the Apple Watch was born.Tim Bajarin, TIME Magazine, May 09, 2016

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