Technology giants target US healthcare industry
Apple is set to announce a wearable health device, which will be able to monitor everything from our heart rates and caffeine intake to saturated fats, blood sugar and oxygen levels.
During a launch event on 9th September in California, Apple is expected to reveal the wearable device that will help capture biometric data about activity, aiming to interest the lucrative American healthcare market. Initial partnerships with hospitals and health organisations were announced back in June 2014 with the launch of Healthkit software for developers. This software enables developers to build bespoke health apps to tackle a range of medical needs. Apple say that users will be able to keep control of the data, sharing it with doctors or medical professionals only if they choose.
The future of medicine
The healthcare industry is a potentially lucrative market, worth about 10% of the economy of developed nations. In Britain, more than £100 billion a year is spent on the NHS, according to the Department of Health.
Dr Mohammed Al-Ubaydli, who runs Patients Know Best, a startup that helps patients and doctors share medical records securely, told The Guardian “Healthcare is fundamentally an information industry,” he says. “It’s about knowing the right thing about the right patient at the right time. The information tools currently available are poor, and there’s a large opportunity for tech companies to fix that. The only way to provide more healthcare for the people living longer and growing older, without more money, is to use technology. There’s is a big demand for technology in cash-crunched healthcare and it’s a very interesting time.”