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May 27, 2016

CEO Apple Tim Cook ‘Watch to become medical device’

A year after Apple started selling its smart watch, the company wants to give its Apple Watch a prminent place within its healtcare strategy. During Start Up Fest Europe, held this week in Amsterdam, Apple CEO Tim Cook positioned the Apple Watch as the ‘Holy Grail’ for digital health. Cook foresees the smart watch becoming indispensable.

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Apple introduced the Apple Watch at the end of 2014. The actual sale of the watch started several months later. A year after the watch became commercially available, it can be said that the devices has substantially aided in opening the smart watch market wide open. At the same time though, too many consumers see a smart watch as nice to have instead of as a must have device that can monitor and analyse a persons health 24/7.

Killer app

Apple First positioned the Apple Watch as a well balanced mix between fashion and technology, something most competitors failed to do after years of experimenting. Despite Apples good work consumers still do not reach out to smart watches en masse. In some mature markets the smart watch penetration has reached no further than a few percent  The price for smart watches (as opposed to e.g. fitness bands) in general has something to do with this. Well developed user cases are another barrier.

However, Apple is known world wide as a market leader with devices such as the iPhone and its App Store ecosystem, a position the company wishes to broaden by positioning the Apple Watch as part of a wider healthcare offering. Other elements of this wider ecosystem were introduced in the past years, such as medical software platform HealthKit (2014), ResearchKit (2015) and careCit (2016).

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