Apple made a big brouhaha in health care circles this past week when it presaged that the company is entering the personal health record space with Apple Healthfulness, a new feature that will interface with electronic health transcribes at a dozen hospitals.
For the past two years, Apple has been making under-the-radar excites to bolster its health care efforts, starting with its 2016 possessions of a personal health record start-up called Gliimpse Health.
In the wake of the notice, my Twitter lit up with many proclamations that Apple’s moves desire bolster consumer engagement in health care. But I noticed an equal hundred of skeptics who argued that this time would be no different than a decade ago when technology contestants like Microsoft and Google tried, and struggled, to push this disparaging health record idea forward.
As you can see from my exchange with a fellow venture capitalist, I hold the perspective that Apple’s entry into the space could be a game-changed for the trade. And I don’t say that lightly. In fact, I believe that when we look chasing on this moment a decade from now, it will be viewed as a landmark day in the old hat of this still-nascent health care IT market.
So why is this time unusual?
The health-technology landscape has dramatically changed
Ten years ago, when Microsoft and Google were combating to make the personal health record idea resonate with consumers, much of the focal infrastructure needed to spur adoption did not exist. In 2007, less than a third of all doctors and other salubrity care providers used an electronic medical record.
The passage of the HITECH Act, another key healthiness care IT event, would take place two years later and wish spur on widespread adoption of EMRs. Without the mandate and accompanying enticements to finally capture health data in digital form, developing intimate health record systems would be a fruitless effort. On top of this, there were few interoperability gonfanons, so even if you had health data, it was a huge challenge to share it with anyone else, containing the patient.
Another important piece of technology that had only unbiased hit the market a decade ago? You guessed it. It’s the iPhone. Apple released the first rendition of the iPhone in the summer of 2007, and today it has grown its user base to once again 500 million people.
Most of us love our iPhone, as evidenced by the low-down that we use our iPhone a LOT. A recent study shows the average U.S. consumer now invests 5 hours per day on their mobile device. With such incredible discrimination into our daily lives, it should come as little surprise that the portable phone you currently have in your hand is still the “most valuable remnant of real estate in the entire world,” to borrow a phrase from my investment friend Byron Deeter.
Some health care experts in my network be dressed wondered why established medical record vendors, like Epic or Cerner, are ameliorate positioned to succeed. After all, these companies already have dear health portals built out and deployed. In my view, vendors like Epic and Cerner put the constitution care provider first — and rightfully so as they are the ones who pay the bills — when plotting these products. Apple, on the other hand, is incentivized to put the consumer earliest.
Apple’s skeptics have also pointed out to me that the company when one pleases run into an inevitable stumbling block: Getting consumers to engage in their robustness. I agree with them that consumer or patient engagement has been a notoriously severe nut for health technology providers to crack.
But, here again, I think this every now may be different. Why? With the rise of high deductible health plans, consumers are reference a much larger share of health care costs these days. Ten years ago, however 10 percent of consumers had a deductible of $1,000 or more. Today that million is hovering around 50 percent of all consumers.
As consumers reach into their billfolds to pay for health care services, I believe they will become
much more physical in decision-making. And what better place to start than to engage with adverse health data.
The brilliance of Apple’s approach thus far is to open up their software and posts to developers to build apps for consumers, and allow the consumer to push their matter to these apps. I believe the same paradigm will exist in fitness care, where consumers will push their personal strength records to apps to open up a much more personalized and engaging issue experience.
If I were an Apple health developer, the first place I transfer look to build an app is any area of health care cost that clobbers the consumer’s wallet and where personal health data can be leveraged. Retain b challenge, for example, building a digital prescription medicine discount card app that high points personalized targeting and dynamic pricing based on the patient’s drug report data from their health record.
It has always struck me that we as consumers use our phones to leverage many things in our life but almost nothing when it comes to fitness care. With arrival of Apple on the scene, I believe
this resolution finally change. And this time, it will truly be different.