In a recent article in Becker’s Hospital Review by Laura Dyrda, she described how Apple executives discussed the future of Apple in healthcare and what their expectations are during their earnings call. We at Rapid believe we are at an unprecedented time when Healthcare information is being democratized right in front of our eyes.
Four key notes from Laura were:
- Consumer products: The company has continued to expand its health and fitness offerings with the watchOS6, which has features that include cycle tracking and activity trends. It is now available in 32 markets and aims to give users the ability to monitor their health. Wearables revenue was up 54 percent, a significant contributor to the company’s overall growth.
- Medical research: CEO Tim Cook said the company is furthering its medical research commitment. “We announced a new Research app paired with three unprecedented medical studies spanning hearing, heart and movement and women’s health,” he said during the call, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha. “We are collaborating with leading health institutions to reach more participants than has ever been possible, enabling them to contribute to potential medical discoveries and help create the next generation of innovative health products.” The company aims to leverage its security and privacy to democratize medical research and “bring everyone to the table to make the next big breakthroughs possible,” said Mr. Cook.
- Health records: Apple will continue its movement into the health records space, building out its health records connection into the health app. “It really democratizes the information about people’s health and so they can go easily from doctor to doctor,” said Mr. Cook.
Several hospitals and health systems have gone live with Apple Records this year, including Mishawaka, Ind.-based Franciscan Health and Doylestown (Pa.) Health over the past month. Also recently in the news Apple announced that it hard partnered with the VA as the largest medical system in the United States, providing service to more than 9 million veterans across 1,243 facilities, including hospitals and clinics. Today, the VA joins Johns Hopkins, University of California San Diego, Quest Diagnostics, Allscripts and 400 other health care provider organizations, laboratory networks and electronic health records vendors who all support Health Records on iPhone.
Future: Mr. Cook alluded to new projects that Apple is working on that he declined to speak about at the moment. However, he reiterated the mantra that Apple’s “greatest contribution” will be in improving peoples’ health. It was recently reported that New York City-based Columbia University Medical Center cardiologist David Tsay, MD, joined Apple and will work closely with other physicians the company has hired.
The company also has posted healthcare openings in software engineering, a machine learning scientist for health sensing and an iOS engineer with clinical health insights.