laptop and stethoscope

Apple Faces Challenges With Healthcare Industry Initiatives

Big Tech Struggles in the Healthcare Market

Apple (AAPL) has bold plans to transform healthcare in America, but its efforts have yet to pay off. The tech giant has been working to develop its own primary care medical services, and it also launched a digital health app earlier this year. However, Apple has faced stumbling blocks with both these projects.

A number of large technology companies looking to disrupt new markets and improve efficiencies have set their sites on healthcare. But success has eluded the majority of them. Amazon (AMZN) shut down its Haven unit, an initiative with the goal of reducing healthcare costs. The tech giant partnered with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Berkshire Hathaway on the project. Meanwhile, Google (GOOGL) and Microsoft (MSFT) both shuttered their healthcare data-focused operations.

Apple’s Strategy

Every year, Apple invests $20 billion in research and development. The tech giant also spends years studying markets before launching products and services. For this reason, its early struggles in the healthcare market are not indicative of its potential for future success. It just may take some time for the company’s ideas to come to fruition.

Apple is betting that the best way to transform healthcare is to link the data its devices generate with virtual and in-person clinics staffed by Apple doctors. To test this idea, Apple took over employee healthcare clinics near its headquarters, offering primary care and continuing health monitoring. The model is still in a preliminary stage, but Apple is hoping to franchise it to health systems one day.

Health App Lacks Engaged Users

Apple’s HealthHabit app, which connects individuals with clinics and is being tested on employees in California, has struggled to take off since launching six months ago. Half of the employees who downloaded the app as of May have not enrolled. Among those that have, engagement is low.

The healthcare market is huge, complex, and notoriously difficult to crack. Apple’s efforts in the industry have stalled somewhat in their early stages, but they may pay off in the long run.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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