Apple (AAPL - Free Report) recently partnered with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) for a multi-year research study aimed at early detection of irregular heart conditions. Expected to be initiated in 2019, the study will examine users aged above 65in the United States.
Notably, both the companies and third-party providers will not have access to patient-identifiable information, per Johnson.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals, one of Johnson’s research and development (R&D) companies, will place its app on the Apple Watch 4 to detect atrial fibrillation (AFib) thereby helping with early stroke detection.
Notably, Apple Watch 4, which primarily focuses on heart care, is the best and most accessible Apple Watch to date, per TechCrunch. The U.S. FDA cleared device has a built-in electrocardiogram (ECG) reader, enabling users to obtain a 30-second ECG reading to gain more insight into their health.
Johnson & Johnson, which has a deep expertise in the study of cardiovascular diseases, is looking to reduce the number of people affected by heart problems by leveraging Apple’s technology. Notably, about 33 million people worldwide die of heart diseases, per Apple and Johnson & Johnson.
Apple Inc. Revenue (TTM)
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Apple’s Healthcare Initiatives
Apple is trying to penetrate the healthcare market owing to the huge potential it promises. Notably, more than $7 trillion per year is spent globally on health care, which is almost 10% of global GDP.
Apple’s software developer kits (SDKs) are helping developers and researchers conduct research trials to better study patient care. The open source ResearchKit and CareKit allow developers to create apps that work with the Apple ecosystem.
While users perform tasks, iPhone sensors collect their data, with consent, to better monitor medical conditions and give deeper insights into their medical records. This is more relevant with extreme medical conditions like asthma attack/ epileptic seizure where the existing data can be used to predict a future attack.
Apple is also bringing many features to its health application. The iPhone maker updated the Health Record section of its Health application by partnering with several healthcare communities.
This update, which is based on FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) technology, enables users to easily access medical records, lab reports and other crucial information from multiple care providers like hospitals and clinics, physicians, and other relevant parties.
Players like Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) , Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google, Microsoft and Fitbit are showing interest in strengthening their presence in the healthcare industry too.
Especially, Amazon’s focus on delivering quality services at affordable cost is disrupting the multi-trillion dollar healthcare industry.
Nevertheless, Apple’s secure data practices coupled with its brand image might give it an edge in the healthcare market, where user data privacy is of utmost important.
Apple currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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