Apple CEO Tim Cook: Health Industry is 'Ripe for Simplicity and a New View'
Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke this morning at Startup Fest Europe, a festival geared towards helping startups grow, where he gave some sage business advice and shared some insight into Apple's future plans in the television and healthcare industries.
Some of Cook's most interesting comments were on healthcare, which has been a focus for Apple in recent years with ResearchKit, HealthKit, and the Apple Watch. According to Cook, healthcare could be significantly improved through the use of apps and it's one area where the App Store has potential for growth.
Cook went on to say that health is something that interests Apple because it's an area where hardware, software, and services can come together into "something that's magical." Apple said health is a "huge problem in the world" that's ripe for a revamp.
The things that interest us the most are things where we can bring our ability to integrate hardware, software, and services into something that's magical and enriches people in some way. If you look at some of the things we're doing that do not drive revenue but they have massive interest in them from our teams - health is very much one of those. [...]
The net of that is we believe that health is something that is a huge problem in the world, a huge issue, and we think it is ripe for simplicity and sort of a new view and we'd like to contribute to that. So that's an area where we're very focused.
He also made some predictions on the Apple Watch, once again stating that people will one day look back at the watch and wonder how they lived without it. The "holy grail" of the watch, he says, is being able to monitor more and more of what's going on in the body, something that's not possible today, but will be possible in the future. He likened the future of healthcare and monitoring devices to the systems available in cars.
For those of you that own a car. You get in your car, you crank it up, you drive for a while. If it gets a little too hot a light comes on and says you know pull over or check out. If you need an oil change, it comes on and says check the oil. It has all of these things in it that alert you that you need to do something. What is the equivalent for the body?
Well, it's our minds, but our minds unfortunately convince all of us all too often not to seek help. And many times, we don't even know. There's no symptom. So if you could have a device that knew so much about you, it would be pretty incredible and would extend life and extend quality. I'm not saying one device will do all of that, but when you solve such a big problem it takes several contributions. That's the way I feel here.
Other tidbits of information from the interview included Apple's stance on becoming a carrier, to which Tim Cook said the company's expertise "doesn't extend to the network," and Apple's interest in the entertainment industry and its desire to be a catalyst for change.
We also believe in the entertainment realm that apps are the future of TV and so we've launched our new Apple TV product, but it's clear to us as we pull that string that there's a lot left to do, and we'd like to be a catalyst in changing the world of entertainment and so we're continuing to work on that.
When it comes to business advice, Cook ended the interview by saying companies shouldn't be worried about cannibalizing their products and shouldn't compromise. "Don't get full of yourself. Don't smoke your own exhaust. Don't worry about cannibalizing yourself," he said. "I think being hungry -- not being driven by money, but being driven by some higher purpose and building great products -- is really key. Never do something strictly for money. Do it for love, do it for passion."
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