Apple COO outlines strategy in digital health markets

Apple has released a report outlining strategy in digital health markets, courting consumers with health and fitness features, while engaging with healthcare systems.
Apple HQApple released the Health app in 2014 and Apple Watch in 2015. With the release of iOS 16 and watchOS 9 this fall, Apple Watch and iPhone will offer features that focus on 17 areas of health and fitness, from heart health and sleep to mobility and women’s health, and more.

Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams has offered a comprehensive view of its strategy and approach to healthcare markets. Apple releases health features such as a medical records storage system on iPhones. It has also started partnering with institutions such the Stanford University School of Medicine to conduct large-scale formal medical studies.

Apple said its focus for consumers is on providing a secure place for users to store their health and medical information on iPhones while using tools like the Apple Watch to warn and nudge users toward better health. The device can alert people to heart irregularities and detect when a person takes a hard fall to alert an emergency contact, among other features. Apple said its system can store 150 different types of health data that is encrypted so that only users, not Apple, can access it.

The company also outlined work it is doing with medical researchers to allow them to use Apple devices to conduct studies, as well as allow patients to share and discuss data collected by Apple devices so that they can monitor their health better between doctor’s visits.

Apple intends to keep developing health-related features for both users and the healthcare industry.

Our vision for the future is to continue to create science-based technology that equips people with even more information and acts as an intelligent guardian for their health, so they’re no longer passengers on their own health journey, Jeff Williams said.

Health organizations and companies around the world — including Paceline in the US; Vitality Active Rewards in the US, the UK, South Africa, and Australia; and LumiHealth in Singapore — have collaborated with Apple to integrate Apple Watch into their wellness programs. There are currently 55 programs running in 17 countries with over a million users taking part in an incentive program leveraging Apple Watch.

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