Home iOS WSJ leaks Apple’s digital healthcare plan

WSJ leaks Apple’s digital healthcare plan


Apple has indeed been thinking about introducing its own healthcare service backed up by real doctors, the Wall Street Journal confirmed, though plans appear to have stalled.

An Apple a day keeps the doctor in pay

Apple’s interest in the sector goes back years. “Health is a huge issue around the world and we think it’s ripe for simplicity and a new view,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told a May 2016 conference.

Speaking in 2013, Ovum’s then-lead Healthcare & Life Sciences analyst Charlotte Davies told me: “More and more care will be delivered outside hospitals and clinics… mobile devices — from smartphones to monitoring devices — will become increasingly important as the number of patients cared for at home or in sheltered accommodation or other community centers increases.”

Suggesting the scale of the company’s ambition, Cook told the Time 100 Summit in 2019:

“I do think there will be a day when people looking back will say Apple’s greatest contribution to the world was healthcare.”

Cook has consistently returned to this promise ever since.

What’s the prognosis?

The story (via: Macrumors) in brief seems to be:

Apple has discussed its clinics before, saying they exist as initiatives for internal employee health, and the WSJ report cites Apple’s response to the claims as maintaining that line. The report reveals a secret Apple app called HealthHabit. This is offered to employees to provide chat-based contact with clinicians and to set and meet health challenges.

This combination of remote medical support and gamification of health targets doesn’t appear to have hit the sweet spot, at least, not yet — the report claims low use of the app. Employees just haven’t developed the habit, or so it appears.

Apple’s smart plan for digital health

That Apple would be exploring the potential of remote health monitoring systems makes a great deal of sense. Its work with Apple Watch and partnerships with health insurance providers show it well understands how sensor-based data can contribute to personal health, as does the company’s continued investment in research in this space.

It’s also important to consider the necessity of digital transformation in healthcare in order to deliver care on a planet with a growing population and insufficient trained medical staff. The idea here should be that routine tasks can be automated to enable practitioners to handle bigger patient workloads without impacting the quality of care provided.

In practice, of course, it probably just means Big Healthcare will use these efficiencies to maximize gross revenue. The global health insurance market is worth more $3 trillion, which is a tempting market for any company.

Not yet ready for prime time?

The Wall Street Journal seems to believe the effort to create an Apple-branded health service has stalled, but I’m inclined to reject that assessment. My hunch is that for the project to bear fruit, challenges around network coverage and regulatory approval must be resolved, along with Apple’s growing recognition that it treads an increasingly fine balance in which it must avoid over-extending its market power or face regulatory action.

At the same time, Apple’s efforts in privacy, continued sensor and software development, and its network of high street retail stores could all come into play in the event it decided to offer such services.

I expect we’ll see more work emerge as 5G networks proliferate and new health sensors appear. Because in the end, I’m convinced that Apple Watch and other connected wearables will indeed become your personal physician.

Though until access to these solutions is made universally available, health, like privacy, will remain a premium service meant for the many but accessible only to a few.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.


  1. A powerful share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing somewhat analysis on this. And he in truth bought me breakfast as a result of I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I really feel strongly about it and love studying extra on this topic. If possible, as you become experience, would you mind updating your weblog with extra particulars? It’s highly useful for me. Big thumb up for this blog put up!

  2. Excellent site. Plenty of helpful info here. I am sending it to some friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you on your effort!

  3. Very interesting info !Perfect just what I was searching for! “You have to be deviant if you’re going to do anything new.” by David Lee.

  4. Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched everywhere and simply could not come across. What a perfect web-site.

  5. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100 sure. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Kudos

  6. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  7. Fantastic blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get opinions from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Many thanks!

  8. I’m typically to blogging and i really admire your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand spanking new information.

  9. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

  10. I like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I¦ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my web site 🙂

  11. fantastic points altogether, you simply gained a new reader. What could you recommend in regards to your publish that you just made some days in the past? Any sure?

  12. Hey! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading through your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics? Thanks for your time!

  13. We are a group of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve performed a formidable job and our entire group can be grateful to you.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here