Apple’s healthcare plans under the microscope: From iPhone apps to Apple Watch and what comes next

“It’s unsurprising that Apple has its sights set on the healthcare market,” Jo Best writes for ZDNet. “It’s an industry that’s ripe for a tech makeover, and Google, Microsoft, and IBM, among others, are all keen to show that their technology can help with the overhaul.”

“Apple’s recent interest in healthcare can be traced back to 2014 and the launch of the Health app and HealthKit platform, which together brought health and fitness tracking to the iPhone and iPad. These tapped into the trend for individuals monitoring their health data, initially allowing the tracking of fitness metrics such as steps taken and calories burned, as well as more general wellness information such as monitoring users’ sleep and menstrual cycles,” Best writes. “The launch of the Apple Watch the following year built on the foundation that HealthKit and Health had laid, allowing Watch users to not only better track existing health metrics, but also share that data with their physicians”

“Tt appears that Cook is looking to expand Apple’s B2B appeal in healthcare. In August, for example, rumours surfaced that execs from Apple and insurer Aetna had met to discuss how products like the Watch could be used to help individuals with chronic illnesses manage their long-term health conditions, rather than just enable well people to track their health and fitness,” Best writes. “In the UK, the enterprise potential of Apple in healthcare has already been demonstrated. There are two major patient records healthcare companies in the country, and both support functionality that allows iPhone users to update their own medical records. If rumours are true, then it seems likely Apple is looking to take the iPhone-patient records tie-up further, and beyond the bounds of the UK.”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, Apple is continueing to lay the foundation for a broader – and needed – move into healthcare.

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

Apple granted U.S. patent for iPhone that measures and analyzes health data – August 8, 2017
Apple working with start-up on iPhone Electronic Health Records plan – June 19, 2017
Apple’s profound iPhone plans for healthcare – June 15, 2017
Apple acquires Gliimpse – August 22, 2016
Apple rehires Flipboard co-founder Evan Doll to develop health software – August 12, 2016
Apple working on all-new, advanced health-tracking hardware; years in the making – August 9, 2016
Tim Cook hints Apple might build a health device – November 10, 2015
Apple’s Tim Cook declares the end of the PC and hints at new medical product – November 10, 2015
Apple announces new ResearchKit studies for autism, epilepsy and melanoma – October 15, 2015
GlaxoSmithKline working on integrating Apple’s revolutionary ResearchKit into clinical trials – July 13, 2015
ResearchKit, Apple’s medical data experiment, explained – May 20, 2015
Apple announces ResearchKit available today to medical researchers – April 14, 2015
Why Apple’s ResearchKit signals a golden age for health care – March 28, 2015
ResearchKit: The inside story of how Apple’s revolutionary medical research platform was born – March 19, 2015
Apple’s open source ResearchKit will change the world for the better – March 9, 2015
Apple debuts ResearchKit, giving medical researchers the tools to revolutionize medical studies – March 9, 2015


  1. Just based on the facts of seniors, over 50, have a major proportion of health costs and chronic illness means they are a relatively compact market segment with higher incomes and a very high desire to stay healthy and improve their health.

    Apple sees the market segment’s needs.

    1. You should not assume that all seniors over 50 have higher incomes. Some undoubtedly do, but many do not. My mom, for instance, is a widower and receives about $2,000 per month combined from Social Security, work pension, and military pension.

      Plus, she is a Luddite. You couldn’t get her to wear an Apple Watch if you gave it to her for free.

    2. It’s a shame that this age group is also the least competent in utilizing the tech they own. I am 62 and constantly amazed by the number of people I socialize with that have never downloaded an App. And when you talk about what their iPad or iPhone can do their eyes glaze over and sweat beads on their foreheads.

      1. I’m 73 and know what you are talking about. The important things to remember is that a lot of older people spent their entire working life working without a computer. After serving in the Navy I went back to college in ’70 and took my first computer course but it was 15 years later when I got my first computer (a Mac) to work on. Many people on the computer in those days were inputing data or programming on punch cards.

        As computers moved more and more into business it was for large, simple apps like AP and AR.

        In terms of buying apps, the iPhone is just 10 years old and it took a while to develop the AppStore. Third graders today have more skills than a lot of older people, not because they are smarter, but because they grew up with these devices since they were in their cribs.

        Another difference between the generations is that back in the late 80s or early 90s you could develop a new spreadsheet for your job, but it had to be approved by Internal Auditing for errors. There was an article at that time by an Internal Auditor covering the very high levels go logic and the resulting error rates. Something like 50% of spreadsheets audited had errors. Do you thing it is any better today?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.