Tim Cook’s Apple Ambitions Include Health Care and ‘Everything Part of Your Life’

2 minute read
| The Back Page

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s ambitions are big, probably bigger than any of us realize. In a much talked-about interview with Rick Tetzeli (Becoming Steve Jobs) for Fast Company, Mr. Cook hinted that Apple wants to make a big play in health care. He also said, “Our strategy is to help you in every part of your life that we can.”

Tim Cook and the World

Tim Cook and the World

Apple in Health Care

It’s a wonderful interview that includes comments and information from senior vice presidents Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi. I strongly recommend you read it in full. But it’s Mr. Cook’s thoughts on the bigger picture that grabbed my attention. Let’s start with the bit about health care, which is buried near the end of the piece:

As we’re saying our goodbyes, Cook and I stumble into discussing health care, and he perks up again. “We’ve gotten into the health arena and we started looking at wellness, that took us to pulling a string to thinking about research, pulling that string a little further took us to some patient-care stuff, and that pulled a string that’s taking us into some other stuff,” he says. “When you look at most of the solutions, whether it’s devices, or things coming up out of Big Pharma, first and foremost, they are done to get the reimbursement [from an insurance provider]. Not thinking about what helps the patient. So if you don’t care about reimbursement, which we have the privilege of doing, that may even make the smartphone market look small.”

There’s a lot there, but Mr. Cook speaks in what I call Cook Code, or as Mr. Tetzeli put it, “Then Cook makes another one of his points that can get lost if you don’t understand the care he takes with every word.”

We already knew that Apple was interested in wellness and health from Apple Watch and HealthKit. What Mr. Cook is telling us now is that we ain’t seen nothing yet. Rick Tetzeli noted that health care is a US$9 trillion business around the world. More importantly, it’s an industry ripe for disruption. Mr. Cook speaks directly to that with his simple comment about thinking differently about how you make your money.

I have no idea what Apple is thinking for this space, but I can’t wait to see it.

Everything, That’s All

But even that isn’t the end of Mr. Cook’s ambitions for Apple, because apparently the company’s leadership wants to be our everything. Firstly, Eddy Cue quipped, “We want to be there from when you wake up till when you decide to go to sleep.”

Not to be outdone, Mr. Cook added, “Our strategy is to help you in every part of your life that we can, whether you’re sitting in the living room, on your desktop, on your phone, or in your car.”

These are both bold statements that hint Apple has far more than a car up its corporate sleeve.

Tim Cook has said repeatedly and often that Apple has new ideas and products it is working on. Apple doubters and members of the Church of Apple’s Doom ignore such statements or don’t understand Apple. But these new comments are the strongest statements about what’s coming we’ve seen in a long time.

Shares of $AAPL closed higher Monday at $108.37 per share, a gain of $0.89 (+0.83%), on light volume of 28 million shares trading hands.

Other tidbits in the interview include the revelation that the OS X/macOS and iOS beta programs were started because of the flawed 2012 Maps rollout.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.

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Lee Dronick