Most Apple Watch heart monitoring features, like AFib detection, are inherently preventative and can potentially reduce healthcare fees or even save lives.
“I think you can take that simple idea of having preventive things and find many more areas where technology intersects healthcare, and I think all of our lives would probably be better off for it,” Cook said. He added that the cost of healthcare can “fundamentally be taken down, probably in a dramatic way” by integrating common healthcare technologies in consumer devices.
“Most of the money in healthcare goes to the cases that weren’t identified early enough,” Cook said. “It will take some time but things that we are doing now — that I’m not going to talk about today — those give me a lot of cause for hope.”
Apple is known to be at work on multiple health-focused initiatives, though none have been formally announced. A recent patent filing from December, for example, suggests the company is developing methods of using Apple Watch to detect Parkinson’s Disease and diagnose tremor symptoms. Similar initiatives, like the sound monitoring Noise app and menstrual cycle tracking Cycle app, were announced and subsequently released with watchOS 6.
The Apple chief also touched on AR, once again calling it the “next big thing” in tech. Cook has long been bullish on the prospects of AR, which are being borne in iOS app releases.
“I think it’s something that doesn’t isolate people. We can use it to enhance our discussion, not substitute it for human connection, which I’ve always deeply worried about in some of the other technologies.”