Healthkit’s Biometrics Could Quickly make Apple a Leader in Health
Historically, Apple’s integrated and vertical approach has been mocked in favor of the modular and horizontal business model. Some see it as their greatest weakness, but Apple has always seen it as its greatest strength. With wearable devices now upon us, Apple will now be the gateway for health applications. These wearables will monitor biometric data and supply useful apps with what they need to improve the health of individuals. This is a tiny market for Apple currently, but the market size could multiply in size by 25x it is estimated in 5 years, and Apple could take a dominant position.
Apple reported last week that sales of its Apple Watch are breaking new records and growing rapidly. While Apple doesn't break out the Apple Watch results from its other products category, the division grew at 36% and people have been very excited that the new Apple Watch can stand alone and no longer needs to be tethered to an iPhone in order to get a cellular connection.
With the number of wearables growing, Apple is quietly trying out new things in the healthcare field. The smartwatch can monitor people health and notify them if there is anything abnormal. Apple stated in its Q4 2017 statement that the watch will be used to monitor heartbeats and notify the user if an irregular heartbeat is detected. While this is only one application, there are many more ideas yet to be thought of for health systems.
While the Apple Watch monitors people’s health, the iPhone and iPad have dashboards that will give information to users and perhaps even health professionals. There are still many legal barriers to cross, and the FDA will surely step in when it needs to, as it has in the past with regards to health apps, but Apple has a way of dealing with these entities, given its size. Having your health monitored by smart devices could be very beneficial of course, and it’s another theme that will integrate itself into our daily lives such that we become dependent on this part of the Apple ecosystem, and drive sales for years to come.