The Personal Health Record is the central pillar of Apple’s healthcare strategy
The market opportunity in healthcare is huge, and Apple sees healthcare and wellness as a core part of its app, services, and wearables strategies. Now the company is aiming to become your personal health record, jumping into research, medical devices, and more.
As Apple CEO Tim Cook has said, the healthcare market makes the smartphone market look small. In fact, with over $7 trillion in health spending per year, it’s already almost 10% of global GDP.
With the release of the Apple Health Record and Apple Watch with a single-lead ECG, it’s evident that Apple has officially entered the healthcare space.
The company hopes to build the first healthcare platform friendly to third parties, with the personal health record at the center.
In this report, we analyze Apple’s ongoing impact on clinical research and studies, its strategy in building a personal health record, and where the company’s going next in healthcare.
Apple is blurring the line between wellness and healthcare, using its position in your pocket to connect the two. If it can crack the personal health record and patient data platform, it would empower patients to make decisions and give data access to whoever they choose. This is a very different paradigm for healthcare, where patients have increasingly more leverage, information, and agency in their decision making.
Apple is also approaching healthcare slowly. The company has achieved success by vertically integrating its experience and product, and seems to be approaching healthcare from a similar angle by connecting different parts of a user experience together (device, health record, platform, and potentially services like telemedicine).
The incumbents directly in the line of fire would include health IT and electronic medical record companies, as well as medical device makers building commodity consumer-facing devices.
These are incumbent types that have historically not prioritized user experience, and would potentially lose to Apple if people begin to expect better user experience in their medical care. Clinical Research Organizations (CROs) are also potentially at risk as Apple continues to further reshape the medical research industry.
Apple has the device ecosystem, built-in user base, brand, and incentive structure to make healthcare truly patient-centric. As the pieces start coming together and Apple starts entering the healthcare market, existing industry giants will have to figure out how to adapt.