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Analyst Pitches Apple Healthcare Subscription Idea

Posted on March 13, 2019 by Medtech[y] Staff

Well known Apple Analyst, Gene Munster, pitched a couple of interesting ideas on the Loup Ventures site. In relation to healthcare, Munster suggested Apple create a healthcare subscription that could provide in depth health data from both the Apple Watch and AirPods.

Apple's ambition in healthcare is well known, although the direction the company ultimately takes is up in the air. Recently, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, said that Apple’s “greatest contribution to mankind” will be health-related, so the fact that an analyst is pitching a subscription service isn't surprising.

What exactly is Munster pitching? A subscription service that physicians would pay in order to access data from a patient's Apple Watch and AirPods:

Apple’s healthcare services opportunity likely lies in harvesting the data from Watch and AirPods, then filtering, analyzing, and making it actionable. AI will be foundational to these services given the volume of data that needs to be processed. The offering would likely start with the consumer paying ~$300 for a Watch that captures heart rate, activity, sleep, temperature, blood pressure and makes the data actionable, then the physician would pay Apple a per month per user fee (~$10).

While Apple's actual healthcare plans are unknown, there is little question that they are gaining respect from the healthcare community with the success of their Apple Watch and HealthKit integration. There have been countless stories of the Apple Watch alerting watch users of irregular heart beats such as Atrial Fibrillation and continued partnerships with insurance companies, pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

It's likely the data and tracking collected by the Apple Watch and AirPods would need to be more substantial to support a subscription service. However, there is plenty of speculation that future versions of Apple Watch will include blood pressure monitoring and the AirPods could add biometric functionality. For companies and physicians wanting to track activity, heart rate, and other baseline health measurables, a subscription service like this could cut down on unnecessary doctors visits and save the healthcare system money.

What do you all think? If you are a physician, insurance company or manage a company health plan, would you spend money on a subscription service to access data from a patient's wearable device?