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Technology in Healthcare & Apple’s Holy Grail

The healthcare industry is growing at a phenomenal rate, more than twice as fast as the general economy, according to the Center for Health Workforce Studies.  Along with it, technology in the healthcare industry is also growing, as organizations begin to take advantage of electronic medical records, fitness wearables, telecommunications and much more.  In fact, world-leading market research firm, Research and Markets, expects the global Internet of Things in the healthcare market to grow nearly 38% by the year 2020. 

Apple is just one of the many companies ready to revolutionize the industry through technology like the Apple Watch.  At this year’s Startup Fest Europe conference in Amsterdam, Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about the company’s focus on healthcare, stating that, “The health care system can be made much simpler, can have much better results, you can have patients that really feel like customers…One day, this is my prediction, we will look back and we will wonder: how can I ever have gone without the Watch? Because the holy grail of the watch is being able to monitor more and more of what’s going on in the body.” 

And Cook isn’t alone in his predictions.  According to International Data Corporation (IDC), 70% of healthcare organizations across the globe have shown an interest in investing in things like wearables, virtual care, mobile apps and more, all within the next two years.  Nearly all of the country’s hospitals have already implemented the use of electronic health records (EHR), and several are even experimenting with advanced technologies like robotics to assist in surgery and other areas.

As for patients, a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that the number of individuals using at least one health or fitness app on their mobile device doubled to 32% last year; And as deductibles and insurance premiums continue to increase, this number is only expected to grow. According to global analysts, the wearable tech industry is on track to reach $14 billion this year and as much as $34 billion by 2020, with medical wearables alone reaching well over $18 billion.