February 1, 2021

716 words 4 mins read

How Apple Plans To Become A Big Player In Health Care

How Apple Plans To Become A Big Player In Health Care

Apple is easily one of the biggest names that strikes everywhere when it comes to the realm of smartphones. Its global market share for its iPhone alone stands tall at 13.5% in the second quarter of 2020, placing them on rank 3 behind Huawei and Samsung respectively. This figure is exclusive only to its Iphones, along with that apple also has a variety of products ranging from Mac, iPad, air pods , apple watch for customers to choose from. All these products give Apple the higher notch in the smart industry gaining more market share along the way. Needless to say Apple really is aware of the direction they aim to pursue which proves evident in their latest headlines of “Apple’s entry into the healthcare industry” 

Apple makes big growth plans in the massive $3.5 trillion health care sector and its CEO Tim Cook has even claimed that Apple’s biggest contribution to society will be about health in an interview by CNBC. Through the years Apple has integrated health care systems through its iPhone ecosystem, however Apple has segregated its health services focus on three major areas. These areas are its hardware which is the Apple watch, software like the health app and research kit and services like the fitness+ its newest subscription service. Very recently Apple has announced a blood oxygen sensor on the Apple watch series 6 along with a partnership with the Singaporean government and plans to encourage Apple users to engage in more healthy activities by providing a one-time reward of $ 380 Singapore dollars. 

Undeniable it is that Apple’s major player is its iPhone which is continuously showing immense growth, to add to it Apple’s wearables and accessories like the Apple watch is exhibiting progressive growth at about 9% quarter over quarter which makes it reasonable for Apple to improvise those products. Doctors on the other hand are a bit hesitant towards these innovations, ‘especially youngsters who are constantly monitoring their heart rate using these devices and when the device shows certain alerts they get panicky even though they are completely fine hence doctors are always offering re-assurance to them’ claimed by doctor Christopher Kelly. 

The Apple watch was originally made to show notifications on the wrist and leaned more towards being a fashion accessory more than a product offering health care service. Now it’s focusing more on being a health and service device and Apple is spending billions of dollars on research and development for the Apple watch. Prior to these very much advanced innovations healthcare professionals were already using Apple’s healthkit and Researchkit to track medication   administration which proved to be very efficient in various aspects. The market leader in medical records is a company based on Wisconsin known as Epic which has no or very competition because of the lack of inter compatibility and the higher cost of switching systems. This seemed like a very approachable opportunity to Apple as its main strength is innovating a mature market.  To achieve this venture Apple has already made deals with some of the biggest health care institutions to get health records on the health app.

Apple’s most recent subscription service, the Fitness+ is already competing with major health and wellness companies such as Peloton but the latter has innovations which Apple doesn’t have like the connected treadmill and others. This means Apple still has to grow more to be really competitive in these sectors. 

However to make a move into the healthcare industry with its wireless devices Apple has to have the approval of the FDA ( food and drug administration). Apple classifies itself as a fitness and wellness device manufacturer not a medical device manufacturer and has a De Novo classification under the FDA for its ECG feature. 

Privacy is a major concern as health data is very sensitive, luckily Apple’s records of privacy is on a good track as Apple is well reputed in those terms as it directly affects its main source of income which is the hardware. 

Apple has also discussed blood glucose monitoring as well. There could be a possibility for Airpods to become a better fitness tracker than the Apple watches. All these innovations are very commendable and Apple also has an advantage of presenting itself as a powerful brand in the technological industry.

Categories: MedTech
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