Former CEO John Sculley thinks Apple will disrupt healthcare

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Former Apple CEO John Sculley talks at Web Summit 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.
John Sculley ran Apple from 1983 to 1993.
Photo: Web Summit/Flickr CC

Former Apple CEO John Sculley agrees with Tim Cook that healthcare is a great area for Apple to move into. It may even, he suggests, “be the great legacy that [Cook is] talking about.”

Tim Cook recently made the comments about health in an interview with CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer. He said that health services may wind up being, “Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind.”

Sculley, it seems, agrees with Cook. “I believe … [it will] go from curiosity to useful to indispensable,” Sculley said in an interview with Squawk Alley. “And indispensable means it’s got to do things that are significantly more capable in terms of health and preventative care than what we have today — with wearable devices or things [that] enable people to do more self-diagnosis, where the consumer can have a bigger role, just as they have in other industries.”

The former Apple CEO, who ran Apple for 10 years from 1983 to 1993, laid out the opportunity that he believes exists from the health market. “We’re about to move into an era where sensors … [and] algorithms are getting more powerful,” he said. “Technology and health care is moving from a vertically siloed, highly inefficient industry. The big health-care players want to move to platforms, they want it to be a horizontal model, just like we’ve seen successfully in retailing and in fintech and others.”

Apple’s health ambitions

Apple has been increasingly moving into health-related domains in recent years, potentially driven by Steve Jobs’ own health-related issues prior to his death in 2011. Since then, we’ve seen the launch of Apple’s Health app, the massive research platform ResearchKit, and a hiring of multiple biosensor experts.

Perhaps the most notable illustration of Apple’s health ambitions is the Apple Watch, which is capable of potentially life-saving feats like fall detection and heart rate monitoring.

With that being said, I think there’s a long, long way to go before Cook’s comments about Apple’s “greatest contribution to mankind” come true. Despite the massive potential Apple has in this area, they seem incredibly premature. If Apple’s truly serious about healthcare, there’s plenty more work to be done — not just with building smart sensors, but fundamentally helping rethink the way healthcare is practiced and the system is run.

Do you think the move into health can pay off for Apple (and consumers)? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: CNBC