Apple’s three new healthcare studies will only use data from Apple Watch and iPhones in the US
The studies will not be available in India and other developing markets where Apple is losing traction
There are also concerns about selection bias in the study due to the premium price of the device
Alongside shiny new iPhones and Apple Watch Series 5 models, Apple also announced that it’s doubling down on healthcare and unveiled three new studies which are linked to its Apple Watch product. But for those who have a close eye on healthcare technology, these health studies are not quite the democratic innovation that can be used to address the urgent concerns of health in developing economies such as India.
The new Apple health studies , which will be limited to the US when they launch, will look to address issues of hearing and sound pollution, heart health, and women’s health in relation to menstruation and reproduction. And while this signals Apple’s sharpened focus on healthcare, for now, its benefits will be limited to its US audience.
For the studies, Apple is teaming up with research partners such as global and American healthcare associations and major healthcare institutions to study the data collected through Apple Watch devices and associate them with health outcomes.
The new studies have been announced thanks to the success of the Apple Heart Study , which it had been conducting over the past year. Apple says the study has positively impacted medical research and will benefit future generations as the data from the study is used for health outcomes.
While laudable there are the two major concerns around Apple’s new healthcare studies: Will Apple ever bring this to emerging markets which are more in need of healthcare innovation? And secondly, does the premium pricing of the Apple Watch risk making the studies limited in their scope due to the niche crowd that will be able to afford them? Apple’s Health Studies Ignore Developing Markets
Let’s focus on the first question — due to high saturation in the US and parts of Europe, Apple desperately needs to focus on emerging markets, which have the highest potential for growth, as evidenced by India’s double-digit growth for smartphones in the previous quarter.
Apple has had its eye on the India market for a while now, having setup an assembly plant for its iPhones in the country, and is also looking to start its own retail stores. But by restricting its healthcare study to the US market, Apple is limiting its own potential in such emerging markets, which are also some of the most underserved in terms of new-age healthcare solutions.
For the three new studies, users will be able to download the Apple Research app which will be available in the US later this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said. Apple’s official press release does not mention if the study will be widened to developing countries right now.
So even if Apple sells more Apple Watches and iPhones in India this year, its users will not be […]