Neelie Kroes interviews Tim Cook at Startup Fest Europe

Don’t miss this chat between the EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes and Apple’s Tim Cook this week. You’d be hard pushed to find two bigger and more influential fans of mHealth eg. Neelie is crazy enough to think the EU could save €99 Billion next year with mHealth alone and Tim thinks the most profound change the iPhone will make will be on our health.

Think Different

mHealth Insights

“if you think about some of societies biggest problems and challenges, one of the ones that we’re really focused on is health. Arguably the Healthcare system can be made much simpler, can have much better results, Patients can be made to feel much more like customers, and we can have applications and systems that bring out the best in the medical Professionals that are serving Patients, so I think the runway there is enormous”

With a $200 Billion cash pile does anyone still think we don’t live in a decade that’s set to be defined by mHealth (a prediction I made back in 2009)?

“we believe in privacy, we believe that privacy is a fundamental human right… …we think the best way to protect people is to encrypt and so we’ve encrypted iMessage – which I hope many of you use – since we first came out with it in 2008, Facetime has been encrypted since 2008, the truth is we don’t view that we should know about your communications, we don’t think we have a right to do that. We think we’re more like the FedEx courier right. We take the message sealed and bring it over”

I think this is great and I fully support Apples tough stance on encryption and the role a mobile brand should play. I hope that in Healthcare this means we’ll never see Apple do many of the things we’re already seeing competitors like Google doing eg. where in the NHS they’ve buttered up a Hospital board and been able to take Patient data that was never made available to Patients without ever asking or being in a position to ask any of the Patients.

“if you look at some of the things we’re doing right now that don’t drive revenue but have a massive level of interest from our teams, Health is one of them. We’ve done some things with the Apple Watch to monitor activity and to try and encourage people to stand more, move more and exercise more but we’ve also gotten interested in research and so we’ve launched ResearchKit which is essentially a framework whereby the old way of doing research where a company that wanted to do research would put it up on a bulletin board and an ad that would say we want people who look like this or have these characteristics or whatever. Well of course everyone’s (already) carrying around a device that’s in their pocket and so you can have a much richer subjects and numbers if you do that. We’ve really started to pull that string, ResearchKit has led to CareKit and we just launched Carekit a little while back which really helps the Doctor is ensuring that the Patient is taking care of themselves post operation although there are other things that can be done with it as well but the net of that is that we believe that Health is something that is a huge problem in the world, a huge issue and we think it is ripe for simplicity and sort of a new view and we’d like to contribute to that so that’s an area we’re very focused”

Check out this talk I gave recently to learn more about the scale of the mHealth opportunity that is opening up thanks to ResearchKit.

“you know I love the (Apple) Watch. This is my prediction: One day you will look back and you will wonder how could I ever have gone without a Watch because the Holy Grail of the Watch is we are able to monitor more and more of what is going on in your body. It’s not possible technologically to do it today to the degree that we can imagine it but it will be and so think about for those of you who own a car. You get in your car you crank it up you drive it a while if it gets a little too hot a light comes on and it says ‘pull over’ or ‘check this out’, when you need an oil change it comes on and says ‘check the oil’ it has all of these things in it that alert you that you need to do something. What is the equivalent for the body? Well it’s our minds but our minds unfortunately convince all of us all too often not to seek help and many times we don’t even know as there’s not even any symptoms. So if you could have a device that knew so much about you it would be pretty incredible and it would extend life and extend quality and so I’m not saying one device will solve all of that but when you solve such a big problem you make several contributions”

Remind me who told you that the holy grail of the Apple Watch would be mHealth monitoring?

“also I’m not sure how many here in the audience have a Watch but the thing I love about it is it makes me more present. So i found myself checking my mail and my notifications etc but this (glancing to wrist) is a quick way and you sort of stay present in the conversation”

If you spend time like I do watching Patients trying to adhere to their medication regimes you’d realise this is a huge mHealth opportunity. I know Patients that only know the day of the week because of their medication regime for that day. Imagine an app that meant medication regimes just took care of themselves and Patients were freed of the demands that they currently have made upon them by medication regimes and could just be more present living their lives and being more present with their families and friends?

“(key message to startups) don’t get full of yourself, smoke your own exhaust, don’t worry about cannibalising yourself. As a company grows whether they’re small or big they begin to worry about having a new product because it may kill off an old product and so they begin to compromise and compromise and compromise and pretty soon somebody else has passed them. Or they get full of themselves and worry more about whether their cufflinks are nice, whatever or their office or something. So I think being hungry and not being driven by money but being driven by a higher purpose and making great products and never doing something strictly for money. Do it for love, do it for passion, that’s what drives people”

What are you doing today in your business that makes people around you think you’ve completely lost your mind?

“we shouldn’t expect teachers to magically get up one day and be able to teach code or to move from an analogue classroom to a digital one. We need to invest in teacher development and treat them like their customers as well. Teachers have some of the most important jobs in our society and I think we need to invest there”

I think the same applies to healthcare professionals – hence the obsession I have developing and delivering the Healthcare Informatics Society mHealth courses around the world. If you’d like to host one of these (perhaps in your local Apple Retail Store) please get in touch and I’ll help you make it happen.

About David Doherty
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