What it is: Apple is poised to benefit from the shift to digital health records.
The health industry is still in the stone age where medical records are stored on paper and sent to others through fax machines or postal mail. Not only is this slow and inefficient, but it also risks being incomplete when data isn’t gathered in one place. Fortunately, this archaic system of record management will likely go away soon with the growing shift towards electronic medical records.
Apple won’t have an exclusive lock on health data but they can compete by offering the simplest, most straightforward way to view and share medical records between doctors, hospitals, and patients. Besides making health data easy to find and view, Apple can also compete through security. Unlike Android and Windows, which are plagued by security flaws and malware, the iOS world is much safer and secure. That will be an especially valuable feature when sharing medical records with others.
Of course, nothing is completely secure, but given a choice between the relative security of iOS or the wide open nature of Android, it’s easy to see that people who value their privacy will prefer to access their medical records through iOS devices. Now when you combine the Apple Watch monitoring health in real-time, you can see how Apple is poised to dominate the health market. Since everyone is concerned about their health, that makes everyone a potential Apple customer.
Not surprisingly, other companies are looking to take advantage of the health market. Amazon, Google, and Microsoft will likely gain a foothold in the health care market along with Apple so there should be plenty of money for everyone. The big difference is that Apple has the most popular wearable computer to retrieve data in real-time along with the iPhone and iPad to review data on the move.
The health record industry is still in the typewriter and adding machine world while the rest of the planet is using computers. One day when health record sharing electronically becomes commonplace, people will look back and wonder how anyone managed in the old days. Then again, people still wonder how the world ever functioned without the Internet, personal computers, or mobile phones in the past.