Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Reaches for Enormous Medical Technology MarketDate Published: 7-19-2016
Author: Ophir Gottlieb
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has officially stepped into the enormous medical technology market by partnering with GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK).
Apple has partnered with GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR), its first ever drug company partnership. Apple created ResearchKit, which is a medical platform designed to turn the iPhone into a diagnostic tool for clinical trials and studies.
When Apple Inc. first released ResearchKit it did come with some fan fair. Here's a snippet from an article penned by The Verge:
That same The Verge article reported that Apple had partnered with the University of Oxford, Stanford Medicine and others. The power behind the Apple research it was simply to make clinical trials easier and faster. Given the enormous iPhone user base, the thought has been that ResearchKit would allow drug companies and other researchers to find larger and more diverse populations for a clinical trial in less time.
GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK) is the first drug company to take the bait, by creating its own app for the iPhone using the ResearchKit ecosystem. Bloomberg was first to report the study, here's a snippet:
APPLE INC. IT'S BIGGER THAN A LITTLE
This is a much bigger potential market for Apple Inc. than the mainstream media appears to be reporting. If the GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK) goes well, Apple's ResearchKit will instantly become a viable, if not preferred, apparatus for clinical trials, which are often so cumbersome and costly, that small biotechnology firms have to partner with larger ones and give up a part of their ownership stake just to get the capital to move forward.
Further, this is the forward momentum needed for the Apple Watch. Back in March, AliveCor, a medical technology company, worked to produce an FDA-cleared EKG technology for mobile devices. TechCrunch reported that "The product is intended to help wearers detect cardiac arrhythmia conditions that can cause stroke, as well as indicate whether your heart rate and rhythm are normal."
The image above from ifans, shows the stunning reality that the Apple Watch allowed: "Press on the band with your thumb to take a reading."
The first version of the Apple Watch has actually sold significantly better than the first version of the iPhone, though the press would have you believing otherwise. But more broadly, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is looking to broaden its business outside of just the iPhone. While the Apple Car, Apple Pay and Apple TV as a cable bundler all have promise, the move into medical technology for Apple could not only be huge for the company in terms of the earnings potential, but it could also actually help the world.
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Thanks for reading, friends. The author is long Apple shares in his personal account.