The Longevity

Apple CEO Tim Cook Makes Healthcare Intentions Clear on Eve of iPhone 8 Release

CUPERTINO, CA - OCTOBER 27: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks on stage during a product launch event on October 27, 2016 in Cupertino, California. Apple Inc. unveiled the latest iterations of its MacBook Pro line of laptops and TV app. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

It’s a big week for Apple as their long-anticipated iPhone 8 makes its debut. Coinciding with the launch, CEO Tim Cook confirms the tech giant’s intentions to focus on healthcare applications going forward, in an interview with Fortune.

Although Apple has indicated its interest in healthcare before, Cook noted that the company is particularly interested in medical activity.

We’re extremely interested in this area. And, yes, it is a business opportunity. If you look at it, medical health activity is the largest or second-largest component of the economy, depending on which country in the world you’re dealing with. And it hasn’t been constructed in a way where the focus at the device level is making great products from a pure point of view. The focus has been on making products that can get reimbursed through the insurance companies, through Medicare, or through Medicaid. And so in some ways we bring a totally fresh view into this and say, ‘Forget all of that. What will help people?’

In the interview, Cook explicitly mentioned an earlier study this year by Stanford University that found the Apple Watch’s heart monitoring app was more accurate than all seven of its competitors reviewed in the study.

Like Fitbit executives, Cook noted that its device alerted users to a potential heart problem and was able to share heart rate data with doctors. He said, “a not-insignificant number have found out if they hadn’t come into the doctor they would have died.”

As MedCityNews and other outlets have covered, Apple setting its sights on healthcare is not to be ignored.

Apple’s moves in healthcare have significant ramifications from health app developers to medical device companies such as DexCom to patients and clinicians. When Apple added technology to improve connectivity for the smartwatch with hardware devices such as continuous glucose meters, it boosted DexCom’s share price.

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