An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away?
It’s time to collect things that seem strange on the surface, but might very well be a signal of something important for the future of beauty or wellness. Here is one that has been in the chatter lately worth noting.
CNBC reports that Apple is opening health clinics for employees and their families. The program, called AC Wellness, will kick off in the spring. “The iPhone maker has been typically secretive about its plans,” writes the Financial Times, but CEO Tim Cook recently told shareholders that Apple could make a “significant contribution” to the healthcare industry. The news comes after a similar move from Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan, which recently announced a joint health care initiative for their employees.
Last year Apple also announced plans to become your personal health record, jumping into research, medical devices, and more. Why? Because the healthcare market makes the smartphone market look small. In fact, with over $7 trillion in health spending per year, it’s already almost 10% of global GDP.
Already Apple has a large market opportunity built-in and in the US alone, Apple has over 80M iPhone users, dwarfing the user numbers of any single health insurer.
And Apple has another massive advantage over other incumbents in the healthcare industry like hospitals and pharma: unlike drug companies and hospital groups, Apple doesn’t have to chase reimbursements from health insurers. Rather, it can afford to be laser-focused on the patient experience and patient outcomes.
One of the ways brands stay relevant is to see activity like this, involving a large segment of the population and start asking questions. Start with so what and what if questions. How will it change behavior and perceptions about health and beauty? Does my company, brand or products become more or less relevant to these changes? How can my company lead, participate or be part of the innovation cycle? This is foresight thinking that we will be talking more about in an upcoming newsletter and at our Foresight Forums launching later this year.
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