Tim Cook: Apple's 'greatest contribution to mankind' will be about health

Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested that the company's upcoming health-related work will be its "greatest contribution to mankind" in a Jan. 9 interview with CNBC's Jim Cramer.

Mr. Cook said Apple has been working on several products and services for years that it "feel[s] really great about."

Mr. Cook said Apple's work in health and wellness is "an area that I believe, if you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, 'What was Apple's greatest contribution to mankind,' it will be about health," he said.

The company is pivoting to healthcare, he added, because Apple has "always been about enriching people's lives." Specifically, Mr. Cook wants to democratize the ways people access their health information, citing the company's work to integrate medical records into the iPhone as an example.

Becker's Hospital Review spoke with former Apple CEO and current CMO of cloud-based pharmacy benefit manager RxAdvance John Sculley to gain his insight into where Apple may be headed in healthcare.

Four highlights from Mr. Sculley:

1. "Tim Cook has publicity said Apple sees augmented reality, driverless cars and consumer health tech as areas of possible future interest for innovation. In my opinion, AR and driverless cars are still several years away for revenue at the scale that Apple would be interested in."

2. "Consumer-facing health tech innovation is poised now for commercialization beyond today's step-tracking wearables. Apple Watch is an example, with its built-in EKG and [atrial fibrillation] monitor."

3. "The timing is right for consumer-facing tech companies interested in other non-invasive sensor innovations that are being productized. This includes new technologies for glucose monitoring, dermatology, heart, cholesterol monitoring and more."

4. "I believe healthcare will transform from a hierarchical, vertical, siloed, industry into a horizontal, platform-based, continuum-of-care industry organized around empowering consumers with amazing technology tools — giving ordinary people better control over their own wellness and preventive care. It happened in telecommunications, retailing, financial services, and there will be innovators who will lead this revolution in healthcare, too."

To access Mr. Cook's interview with CNBC, click here.

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