Digital health news update: After the AHCA, and Apple’s healthcare strategy

March 27, 2017

Author: Principal Analyst, Matt Arnold



  • Fast Company looks at “Apple’s plan to crack the $3 trillion health care sector,” which aims to integrate the iPad and Apple’s suite of data aggregation software offerings into hospital care, at-home care and medical research. To get there, and avoid the experience of Google Home, Apple is striking up partnerships with healthcare and health tech companies, including Epic and other EHR giants. Apple’s interest in healthcare, we learn, was piqued in part by the late Steve Jobs’ experiences as a patient and his realization that the user experience in healthcare could use some redesigning.





  • Here’s how Bayer built digital capabilities and expertise throughout its organization. C-Suite buy-in and a digital council spanning the organization are part of their special sauce.


  • A small study of Pokemon Go users found that the average number of steps taken jumped 35% after they started to play the game – and that the biggest gains came to those who were overweight or obese.





  • How WebMD’s Cold and Flu Map and the makers of Mucinex walk the fine line of “the creepiness factor” in targeting ads for medications to searches (tldr: they’re not doing real retargeting but rather geo-targeting to areas where the flu is running rampant).




  • The big story out of last week’s ACC cardiology conference was a perfect illustration of the growing power of payers, as Amgen released study findings showing that Repatha reduced risk of cardiovascular events substantially – but not so much that Wall Street thought payers would pay for the $14K-plus drug, which sent Amgen’s stock sinking.


  • Mayo Clinic’s CEO said the health system would give preferential treatment to privately-insured patients over those receiving Medicare or Medicaid, for which providers are reimbursed at a lower rate. That’s kind of shocking, though Mayo said the practice “isn’t unique to Mayo Clinic” – in essence, “Oh, everybody does it – their CEOs just don’t say it right out loud like ours did.”



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