– Part one of our new in-depth series on Apple, Google, and Amazon’s latest healthcare efforts since our last report in April 2019.
– A look at Apple’s recent healthcare developments, as well as an analysis of what goes beyond the news.
Over the last few decades the “digital age” has enabled many garage-based startups to transform into sustained successes by targeting problems that begged to be solved digitally. Sometimes their leaders identified and resolved needs we never knew we had. The largest, like Google, Amazon, and Apple, grabbed consumers and have sealed relationships with them via irresistible technology-enabled solutions across a bewildering range of industries.
In the first early days, Apple decided we needed cool-looking, fast computers that were easy to use, essentially because they were what its engineers wanted to have. Google decided to provide Internet users with a search engine that would be instantly gratifying: faster, better and prettier than competitors. And Amazon was certain we would rather buy books online with a convenient click instigated by real readers’ reviews instead of slogging into the local Barnes and Noble — Starbucks coffee or not.
Today these incubating ventures are multi-billion-dollar titans that have amplified their product and service lines across many industries, using similar computer-enabled customer-focused philosophies, and changing the ways business gets done. Think Google mail, Apple iPhones, Amazon cloud, and so much more.
Now they’re here at the healthcare industry’s door; in fact, their feet seem firmly planted in it. By all appearances, they are ready to do some major disruption in how healthcare is provided and paid.
Here’s part one of our new in-depth series on what Apple, Google, and Amazon have been up to since our last report in April 2019. Take a look at the new developments, as well as a bit of analysis that goes beyond the news.
For part one, let’s start with:
According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, “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.”
Collaboration with Major Health Organizations on New Medical Research Studies
Apple has been supporting the medical research community, starting with its ResearchKit and CareKit, which “expanded the pace and scale of such studies.” Apple recently used ResearchKit to create the Apple Heart Study, which was the largest study of its kind and illustrated the impact virtual, large-scale studies can have on medical research by examining atrial fibrillation. One intent was to validate the irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch.
In September, Apple announced that it is collaborating with several academic and research institutions on three original medical studies. Apple said, “The studies will be available on the new Research app, which democratizes how medical research is conducted by bringing together academic medical institutions, healthcare organizations and the Apple products customers already make a part of their everyday life.”
Forbes’ reporters noted that only patients who can afford an Apple Watch get to participate; their investment must be a minimum of $400. In other words, the studies’ collection of data doesn’t reflect the genuine democratization of research. In fact, the average person who uses Apple’s Cardiogram feature is 41 years old and 79% have health insurance through their employers, suggesting that the gender, age, and ethnicity of users may be a significant factor in understanding the studies’ results, because of potential bias towards high-earning, middle- or upper-class Caucasians.
Apple insists that “Participants will contribute to potential medical discoveries and help create the next generation of innovative health products.” Combine this prospect with consumer fascination with digital devices and apps, and we may well see thousands of people opting in to get their data collected.
Source: HIT Consultant