“Digital health is where big tech firms want to be right now: from Amazon to IBM, Microsoft to Google, hardware and software companies are scrambling to up their presence in the healthcare sector,” Jo Best writes for ZDNet. “Apple has been quietly expanding into the space for a number of years as its devices and its CEO Tim Cook even recently said that in future the company’s greatest contribution to humanity would be considered to be ‘about health.'”

“The first signs of Apple’s burgeoning interest in health came with the launch of its HealthKit platform and Health app, which debuted alongside the first Apple Watch Back then, it was consumer wellness that Apple was talking about, helping users track their exercise, diet, and other lifestyle metrics, with the idea that if you know how much you’re doing, you might be encouraged to do more,” Best writes. “However, the launch of CareKit and ResearchKit around the same time showed that Apple was also thinking about how to work with medical professionals as well as consumers.”

Apple Watch Series 4 in a Space Black Stainless Steel Case with Space Black Milanese Loop (40mm and 44mm)

Apple Watch Series 4 in a
Space Black Stainless Steel Case with Space Black Milanese Loop (40mm and 44mm)

 
“While Watches aren’t cheap, they could potentially save insurers by encouraging customers to take up and maintain healthy habits, and so reduce their future healthcare needs. Lack of exercise is a risk factor for developing or exacerbating many chronic conditions; Vitality reports an average 34 percent increase in activity levels for those using the company’s reward scheme which features the Apple Watch,” Best writes. “There are other signs that Apple is looking to become indispensable to insurers.”

Tons more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Smartly, Apple takes health and wellbeing very seriously:

On the healthcare, in particular, and sort of your wellbeing, this is an area that I believe, if you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, “What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind?” It will be about health. Because our business has always been about enriching people’s lives. And as we’ve gotten into healthcare more and more through the Watch and through other things that we’ve created with ResearchKit and CareKit and putting your medical records on the iPhone, this is a huge deal. And it’s something that is very important for people. We are democratizing it. We are taking what has been with the institutions and empowering the individual to manage their health. And we’re just at the front end of this. But I do think, looking back, in the future, you will answer that question, Apple’s most-important contribution to mankind has been in health. — Tim Cook, January 8, 2019

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s next really big thing: Health – January 9, 2019
Study shows active Apple Watch users gain extra years of life – November 28, 2018
Apple’s watchOS 5.1.2 will enable electrocardiogram feature on Apple Watch Series 4 – November 28, 2018
John Hancock and Vitality prove Apple Watch incentives boost physical activity rates by more than 30 percent – November 28, 2018
Life insurance companies are luring Apple Watch users with deals – November 16, 2018
John Hancock offers Apple Watch Series 3 for only $25 to all Vitality life insurance customers – October 23, 2017
Apple and Aetna hold secret meetings to bring Apple Watch to the insurer’s 23 million members – August 14, 2017
In major win for Apple, Aetna becomes first insurance company to subsidize Apple Watch – September 27, 2016
New ‘SweatCoin’ iPhone app pays people to get fit – May 5, 2016
Why you’ll wear an Apple Watch to keep your job – March 14, 2016
Share your fitness data for an Apple Watch – or cash – March 2, 2016
Tim Cook hints Apple might build a health device – November 10, 2015
Apple should double down on Apple Watch’s health sensors, battery life, and waterproofing – October 2, 2015
Health insurer will charge more for lazy people, less for active people, based on Apple Watch sensors – September 18, 2015
Dalrymple reviews Apple Watch: ‘My most personal review ever’ – June 16, 2015