Can Apple become a big player in healthcare?

Apple Health app

Ever since Apple announced its HealthKit platform and Health app, sites and blogs around the Interwebs have speculated whether the Cupertino giant can change the healthcare industry. While some think that’s possible, others claim this industry is too complex even for Apple to make a dent.

We at mHealth Spot think Apple stands a chance to make a big splash in the entire sector and here we’ll explain why that could be the case.

Apple fan base

No other tech company has so many, so loyal users.No other tech company has so many, so loyal users. If Apple says their customers to use the Health app, a big chunk of them [users] will be happy to do so. In comparison, Samsung is struggling to make its apps popular.

Based on March 2014 AppOptix data, Strategy Analytics’ Consumer Telemetry Platform, Galaxy S3 and S4 users look beyond Samsung’s ecosystem for the vast majority of on-device usage. The data, gathered on a sample consisting of more than 250 Galaxy S3 and S4 users, shows that total time spent across key Samsung Apps on its flagship devices came just under 7 minutes, whereas the same Galaxy user spent 149 minutes amongst three of Google Apps.

We don’t have comparable numbers for iPhone apps, and can only imagine they go more in favor of Apple.

On the other hand, we also don’t have any data on Samsung’s S Health usage — especially among Galaxy S5 users — so we’ll have to guess that service/app is still in the nascent phase, waiting for wider adoption.

Apple users to the rescue

If Apple manages to make millions use its Health app, they can change some things.Let’s speculate for the moment. Let’s imagine that one year from now, Apple will have more than 30 million Health app users in the U.S. That sounds feasible.

These users could make a big push, looking for healthcare organizations that could tune into HealthKit, making every contact with the healthcare that much easier.

Actually, users would be turning to insurance providers that work with healthcare organizations which can “handle” HealthKit. Either that, or they’ll go elsewhere for their insurance, provided there are multiple options in the area they live. That further leads to…

Apple emerging as a key player in the industry

The HealthKit platform could put Apple at the central spot.In this scenario, we would see Apple emerging at a central spot, in the place that would attract more and more healthcare providers, all of which would want a piece of the lucrative iPhone user base. Already they managed to corner leading hospital software company Epic Systems, as well as Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic.

And that’s just a start…

Going forward, (Tim) Cook & Co. may delve further into sensors in an effort to cement the said central spot with new features.

Most fitness devices already sing along the iPhone and with HealthKit launched, we can only see the extension of this trend. Heck, at one point we may even see Apple competing with Validic, or even acquire the company.

Competition will catch up

Other industry heavyweights — including Google, Microsoft and Samsung — will want their slice of the huge healthcare pie.Major companies like Google, Microsoft and Samsung all want a piece of the ever-bigger healthcare pie. Samsung in particular is an interesting company to watch having already invested significant resources in the S Health service/app which is getting better with the day. In fact, the Korean company may already have “boots on the ground,” but will that actually convince a critical number of users to rely on S Health on a regular basis? That’s hard to answer at this point. Again, Apple has the user loyalty on its side.

I’ve mentioned Validic. If Apple doesn’t buy it, perhaps some of its rivals will. What Validic is offering is fairly unique, acting as an intermediary for (inter)connecting to an array of different devices. The technology they have takes time to develop and acquiring them could be a shortcut to the mHealth market.


Apple is not just big but also “cool” company everyone wants to partner with.I can clearly remember the days leading to the iPhone announcement. Analysts of all sorts predicted the demise of Apple in the mobile space; strangely enough, most of them [analysts] are still in business.

At that time we’ve heard sentences like “mobile is different” and “there are carriers to deal with.” As we all know, Steve Jobs successfully managed to make the system play to its tune. Tim Cook may not have the negotiation skills of its predecessor, but Apple is a much bigger company today, one no one underestimates and one everyone wants to partner with. At the end of the day, if Apple manages to get millions of active Health app users within a year, they will be the one making the rules. And yes, it will be to everyone’s benefit. Or so we think.