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At the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple plans to unveil new features that will further entrench the iPhone and Apple Watch in consumer health, according to Bloomberg.
Business Insider IntelligenceApple’s healthcare play hinges on leveraging its substantial footprint in smartphones and wearables as an entry point to the healthcare market to and building out its devices as powerful healthcare tools that benefit both providers and payers.
Here’s what it means: Apple’s new features are the latest sign it’s dipping into the senior healthcare market.
- Apple’s integrating the iPhone with hearing aid support and a "hearing health" section. This could make the iPhone a more attractive offering to seniors, as half of adults ages 75 and up have disabling hearing loss, according to the NIH.
- And the Watch is incorporating a new medication adherence app. A pill reminder app could improve adherence to drug regimens among older consumers, as 55% seniors don’t take their medication as they’re instructed, according to Aging Care.
The bigger picture: Bolstering its devices with new senior-focused health features should help Apple woo provider and payer partnerships.
- Funneling hearing and medication data to Apple Health could up the platform’s value to US hospitals. Apple Health Records — an iOS feature that consolidates and stores patients’ medical histories — is at the epicenter of Apple’s play to reshape the health records market, and it’s currently at 16% penetration in US health systems. With each new data integration Apple lands, it becomes a more powerful tool for healthcare research and informing treatment decisions, which ups its standing in the eyes of health system partners.
- And by integrating medication adherence, payers could also tap into the Watch’s savings potential.If Apple shows the Watch can improve medication adherence among seniors, it could likely attract additional health insurance contracts looking to put a dent in the $300 billion poor adherence racks up in the US annually. And Apple has already identified older insurance customers as a growth area: The tech giant is reportedly in talks with private US insurance companies about subsidizing the Apple Watch for millions of Medicare Advantage members.
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