Health The growing influence of Apple on healthcare
AppleMagazine|December 03, 2021
In a 2019 interview with Mad Money’s Jim Cramer, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “If you zoomed out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, ‘What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind?’” After a short pause, he answered his own question: “It will be about health.” Two years on, his vision is already becoming a reality for the company.

AN INCREASING FOCUS ON HEALTH

As is often the case with Apple, the company wasn’t the first technology giant to enter into the healthcare space but its contributions have so far been more important than its rivals, with Apple Health now installed on billions of users’ iPhones, offering a great deal of data on everyday health metrics like weight, allergies, COVID-19 vaccination status, and for those with an Apple Watch, activity tracking, blood oxygen monitoring, and ECG readings to boot.

That’s, in part, thanks to the Apple Watch dominating the smartwatch market, with Apple responsible for more than a third of smartwatch sales over the past five years. In fact, the Apple Watch is so successful that the company has overtaken established brands like Rolex to become the world’s biggest watch manufacturer, and as new iterations of the wearable are released every year, it’s clear that Apple is showing no signs of slowing down or giving competitors a chance to catch up.

Apple previously received FDA clearance for the ECG function of its smartwatch last year, and since then has been working on validating its efficacy in a number of studies. Earlier in the year, Mount Sinai researchers said the Apple Watch’s heart rate variability monitor could help spot new COVID-19 cases before a molecular diagnosis, demonstrating its huge potential in future disease control and prevention. A separate study conducted by Stanford University found that the cardiac metrics from the Apple Watch is as good as clinical tests, which is a huge leap forward for those suffering from cardiovascular disease, creating a new point-of-care hub for patients looking to monitor their health and get the data they need to the people who need it.

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