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7 Key Moves That Helped Apple Take a Bite Out of Healthcare

Seven moves that helped Apple become a significant player in healthcare.

  • Let’s face it when Apple makes a move everyone is watching. The Cupertino, CA-based company is constantly involved in a wide range of projects and collaborations that have helped to push the envelope in the tech world. However, in recent years the tech giant has been branching out into healthcare. To have a significant role in medicine, Apple has started initiatives, secured FDA nods, and formed key partnerships. Here are seven strategic moves that have helped Apple take a bite out of healthcare.

  • Apple Keeps Veterans Connected to Health Records

    Earlier this year, Apple announced a partnership with the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The collaboration would have veterans receiving care through the Veterans Health Administration able to view their aggregated health records directly in the Health app on their iPhone.

  • Apple Hiring Medical Personnel?

    In 2018, CNBC reported that Apple had been quietly adding dozens of medical doctors to its payroll. This was during the time the tech giant began showing its interesting in the medical space. The company did not comment on the report, however nearly a year later (and further in this slideshow), we can see how the addition of healthcare personnel would eventually turn out to be beneficial.

  • All Eyes on One Drop

    One Drop got even more exposure when it made a deal to have its digital glucose monitors sold in Apple’s brick and mortar stores. Purchasers of the New York-based One Drop’s system also receive one year of unlimited diabetes coaching via One Drop’s award-winning mobile app. The collaboration was significant for Apple because it showed the company could not only take part in developing solutions but could also provide a healthy sales channel for its collaborators.

  • The Clinical Trials and Tribulations of the iPhone and iWatch

    Can the iPhone and iWatch make a huge difference in healthcare? Zimmer Biomet and Apple teamed up in a research project to see if that was indeed the case. The Cupertino, CA-based company teamed up with Zimmer Biomet by using the Apple Watch and iPhone to change the patient journey for two of the most common surgeries Americans undergo each year – knee and hip replacement. This collaboration has yielded Zimmer Biomet mymobility, an app that uses Apple Watch to facilitate a new level of connection between patients and their surgical care teams, which can immediately impact the journey patients experience when they undergo these procedures. In addition to the app, Zimmer Biomet is commencing the mymobility Clinical Study, designed to study the app's impact on patient outcomes and overall costs for joint replacement patients. The study has the possibility to enroll as many as 10,000 patient participants in the US.

  • Dexcom’s G6 – The Apple Version

    In June, Dexcom announced it would have a-direct to Apple Watch version of its G6 Continuous Glucose meter. The partnership helps Dexcom because it gives the San Diego-based more ammunition against competitors. (Dexcom also has a high-profile partnership with Verily Lifesciences). The collaboration also supports the theme and idea of Apple becoming the go-to-partner for medtech and healthcare companies.

  • When Giants Collaborate

    Johnson & Johnson is a pretty big player in pharma and medtech. So Apple’s partnership with one of the largest company’s in healthcare makes perfect sense. The Cupertino, CA-based company teamed with Johnson & Johnson to improve atrial fibrillation outcomes by conducting a multi-year research program. This large-scale program will occur in the U.S. only, and will be designed as a pragmatic randomized controlled research study for individuals age 65 years or older. Goals of the study include; measuring the outcomes of a heart health engagement program with irregular rhythm notifications on Apple Watch; and assessing the impact of a medication adherence program using an app from Johnson & Johnson.  The collaboration is a milestone for Apple and shows it can work with and attract large players in the space. 

    Photo by Kyle Johnston on Unsplash
  • Apple’s Afib App Made Official

    A little more than a year ago, Apple received some significant attention when it received FDA clearance for its ECG app, a software-only mobile medical application that can classify whether there are signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), and another software-only mobile medical app analyzing pulse rates for irregular rhythms. While the company claimed the app and clearance were transformative for the industry – many pointed to more robust offerings from AliveCor and iRhythm Technologies, two companies with solutions that give a more in-depth analysis of a patient's heartbeat. However, Apple’s app - while not as complex as both companies' offerings - brought more awareness to Afib monitoring technologies and increased patients' (consumers') interest in their own health.

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