Apple, AI and its ambition in Healthcare Industry

A few months back Apple launched Apple Watch equipped with ECG app, a health tracker in which you could use to track your health conditions. In hindsight this is just another health app on the market. But, if we dive deeper into the Apple perspective, they’re aiming deeper. They’re aiming to revolutionize the healthcare industry (in the long run) and get the portion of the lucrative market.

I do believe that in the next few years Healthcare continues to be one of the focal points of A.I. R&D in Apple, with A.I. being applied to everything from wearable body sensors to computer-controlled surgical robots. Several big players have shown interest in the healthcare industry; Amazon, Google and Apple to name a few.

I think ECG App is only the tip of the iceberg, Apple has a lot more in their arsenal. Judging from the past, when Apple decided to go into one particular market, they’ll go all out.

Health is really a combination of factors: fitness, nutrition, genetics, and, of course, biological functions. Previously, all of these indicators could only be measured and tracked by separate applications. Now, we have the technology to incorporate them all into a single application, and then to provide users with very specific recommendations to optimize their health and if they fell ill the doctors could determine the best possible actions according to their patient data tracked by the App.

The catch is: it’s important to recognize that a person can be technically obese but still be fit. Conversely, a person can hit all the traditional markers for fitness and still suffer from underlying health problems. A.I. has the power to look at each person as an individual and not just as a point along some spectrum of what is considered “normal.”

Absolutely. Even with all the advances we have made in A.I., the technology can only go so far. That’s why they have support from worldwide network of licensed doctors with whom you can share your information and discuss your options.

Personal monitoring combined with A.I. analysis can definitely help with this. Many emergency room visits could be eliminated simply by providing data remotely to the proper medical professional. Of course, there will still be many situations where direct medical intervention is required, such as treating heart attacks, or broken bones, but there are many situations where telemedicine is not only useful, but desirable. That’s why Apple is currently partnering with several top-notch hospital around the globe.

Most people still rely on their general practitioner for their health data and “manual check”. Technology is allowing people to get this information for themselves. Add the A.I. component, and you can get actionable data that allows you to react accordingly to achieve a better outcome.

The efficiencies created by the innovation are enormous. Right now, the cost of healthcare, is climbing so quickly it will soon become unsustainable. One of the best ways to curb the rise in healthcare costs is to emphasize prevention, to keep people from getting sick in the first place.

No doubt there is a bit of paranoia attached to the idea of 24/7 monitoring. The recent scandals involving Facebook and other social media platforms being caught sharing personal data has only exacerbated such fears. There is going to have to be a long-term educational process to readjust the general consumer mindset when it comes to personal health monitoring. The generation Z and millennials will probably be the first to adapt.

Already they are very comfortable wearing Fitbits and similar monitors the way the rest of us wear wristwatches or eyeglasses. Also, think about all the other technologies that follow us day to day, be it security cameras, the GPS systems in our cars, or just our smartphones. We’ve become dependent on these technologies, and we’re perfectly comfortable with them. Personal health monitoring will follow a similar path.

Apple is known about its “all out” mindset. When they penetrate market they want to be the dominant player in that category; that’s why I think that sooner or later they’ll go into insurance industry.

There is no doubt that with the abundance of their consumers data will establish insurance company that willuse this technology to their advantage, especially to weed out high-risk customers. From a business perspective, one would only expect them to do this, especially taking into account their reach and financial power.

Interested in the field of technology and business.