The Growing Role of Apple in Healthcare: From Smartwatches to Body ID Technology
Over the past few years, Apple has made significant strides in the healthcare industry. From introducing the Health app and HealthKit to collaborating with prestigious institutions for research and development projects, Apple has been expanding its reach in the medical field.
Recently, Apple was granted a patent for “Electronic Devices with Body Composition Analysis Circuitry,” which revealed the tech giant’s ongoing development of a new feature called “Body ID.” This new technology is described as an iPhone-like device that can analyze the user’s body shape, hair color, skin status, and other physical characteristics to provide targeted health recommendations. With this development, Apple continues to push the boundaries of what is possible with consumer electronics in the healthcare industry.
Apple’s interest in the healthcare market is driven by its immense potential for growth and profitability. According to Deloitte, the medical and healthcare market accounted for nearly 10% of global GDP in 2018, making it a much larger market than consumer electronics. In the U.S., the largest consumer market in the world, healthcare spending accounted for nearly 18%, with the average American spending about $11,000 per year on healthcare. This represents a massive opportunity for companies like Apple to capitalize on the demand for innovative healthcare solutions.
One of Apple’s most notable healthcare innovations is the Apple Watch. The device has evolved from a simple smart wearable to become a groundbreaking innovation in the watch industry. With a new generation of accelerometers and gyroscopes, it now has fall detection capabilities and EKG electrocardiogram technology that can detect irregular heartbeats and automatically transmit assistive information and the user’s real-time location. In 2018, the Apple Watch Series 4 was certified as a medical device by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Recently, the Apple Watch also made a breakthrough in non-invasive continuous blood sugar monitoring technology, which caused the stock prices of existing hardware manufacturers in this field to fall. This development has the potential to transform the management of diabetes, a condition that affects millions of people worldwide.
Apple’s advantage in the healthcare market lies in the vast amounts of user data that serve as the basis for its healthcare strategy. With billions of user data at its disposal, Apple is well-positioned to become a highly sought-after partner for global medical institutions. The company’s privacy policies ensure that user data is kept secure and confidential, which is crucial in the healthcare industry.
Despite the limitations smartwatches have in the medical and healthcare fields due to their size and sensor capabilities, Apple continues to improve its hardware to provide more accurate and reliable health data for users. This will further strengthen the confidence of medical professionals and patients in Apple’s healthcare technology and pave the way for greater adoption and expansion in the healthcare market.
Apple’s interest in the medical and health industries is no secret. The company first introduced the “Health” app in iOS 8 and launched HealthKit for developers. In 2015, Apple introduced ResearchKit, followed by CareKit in 2016, and today Apple collaborates with Stanford University, the Institute of Health Sciences with the National Institutes of Health, and other prestigious institutions for research and development projects. For example, Apple is currently working with Stanford University on a heart project, among others.
As Apple continues to develop its healthcare technology, it is likely to face challenges related to regulation, security, and privacy. However, with its track record of innovation and commitment to user privacy, Apple is well-positioned to navigate these challenges and make a significant impact on the healthcare industry.
In conclusion, Apple’s interest in the healthcare industry is driven by the immense potential for growth and profitability. With its groundbreaking innovations in the Apple Watch and ongoing developments in Body ID technology, Apple is pushing the boundaries of what is possible with consumer electronics in the healthcare industry.