According to US analysts, Apple could offer health insurance by 2024, based on health data collected by its connected watches Apple Watch. Fantasy or reality?
As you know, the health area is of great interest to the digital giants – the famous GAFAM. In economic terms, the market is huge – the Covid pandemic has demonstrated this once again… – and it has every opportunity to grow further with the aging of the population and the spread of certain diseases. In this strategic sector, a few leading technology companies were able to quickly develop new services by leveraging unimagined resources. This is especially the case with Apple, which, according to the American research and forecasting company CSC Insight, could offer health insurance as early as 2024. An astonishing prediction, because this service would lie outside the usual framework of the company’s activities on the apple. , but which makes sense when you know that the Cupertino company collects a colossal amount of health data thanks to its Apple Watch…
Apple Watch: an ideal tool for collecting health data
In fact, since the launch of its first connected watch in 2015, Apple has continued to add sensors and health monitoring features to its Apple Watches: heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen level, body temperature… so much valuable data for users – and not just athletes! – who can thus get an accurate and reliable assessment of their health status in real time. Not to mention the electrocardiogram and other sophisticated functions, which in principle require a medical examination by a specialist. And according to analysts at CSC Insight, it is precisely this wealth of sensitive information that Apple could leverage to enter the health insurance market.
Experts point out that Apple could get closer to a major insurance company by 2024. “Apple has a wealth of personal health data from Apple Watches. By linking all this information together, they can become a very competitive player in health insurance”, explains Ben Wood, principal analyst at CCS Insight. Therefore, a question arises: Was the Apple Watch launched on the market for this purpose? Ben Wood doesn’t think so: “I don’t think it was a Trojan horse to get into this: I just think it’s a natural progression. All of a sudden they’re looking at the data they have and wondering, should they go into the healthcare industry?” However, he notes that “Tim Cook steered the Watch into the health and fitness space, and they hit an area that just resonated with consumers”.
Medical data: a wealth of sensitive information for a new market
Of course, Apple, as usual, did not comment on the analysts’ assumptions, as the company maintains an almost military secret about all its projects. But this prediction makes sense. And this opportunity is part of a larger purpose: to change the percentage of Apple’s revenue share from software and services. By 2022, they will represent a quarter of Cupertino’s revenue, compared to a third in 2030, according to forecasts by CSC Insight analysts. Apple has long gone beyond being a manufacturer – of computers and electronic devices – and a software publisher to offer numerous services in music, video, application sales, online storage and fitness. And after banking activities – in the US – why not imagine a parallel foray into the insurance field?
The real issue raised by this eventuality lies in the confidentiality of medical data, which is extremely sensitive and personal, and above all, their brand. Not sure if the concept becomes a reality, it will reach Euripe and thus France, especially with the upcoming implementation of the DSA (Digital Service Act) that the EU is preparing to protect consumers’ private information (see our article). The future will tell us what GAFAM intends to do with the precious data they have accumulated through their wonderful digital products and services…