Tim sat down for an interview with Adam Lashinsky from Fortune to discuss how Apple changes the world. There are so many amazing things in this interview, but Tim’s Health Care comments are what caught my attention most.
Tim on health:
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?’
This rings so true, working in Healthcare IT. So many end-user healthcare devices are pieces of crap, reminiscent of “feature phones” pre-iPhone. Apple would walk right in, dominate this market, and save lives in the process. Just thinking of the possibilities with their ecosystem in this space is extremely exciting.
Tim on where this takes Apple:
We put out ResearchKit [a software developers tool] and made it a source so that people could run enormous-sized studies. And there have been studies in Parkinson’s and so forth that literally are the largest studies ever in the history of the world. And we’re just scratching the surface right now. There’s no business model there. Honestly, we don’t make any money on that. But it was something that we thought would be good for society and so we did it. Will it eventually lead us somewhere? We’ll find out. I can’t answer that today.
I think it’s only a matter of time before Apple enters the Health Care business in some capacity — even with an FDA-certified Apple Watch to test the waters (e.g. a Medical Series Watch).
For more on how I think Apple can help, read Part I of ‘An Apple A Day’ — my series on Apple’s growing Healthcare ambitions.