These articles bug me. Disgruntled employees talking about what is wrong with the company they work for or have left. But alas, they give us some insight as to what is going on within Apple's Health division.
It's the usual stuff. Lack of a cohesive vision, pressure for results, and keeping complainers from meetings. Nothing to see here.
What we can see here is that Apple's success in other areas are leading the expectations of the world as to what they can do in healthcare. Today we explore what Apple can do in healthcare if they only remember what they are and who they serve.
Today in health, it apples, missteps in healthcare as chronicled by former employees and a business insider article. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week and health. It. A channel dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged. Have you signed up for cliff notes yet? We designed it just for you. Cliff notes is a service. We send out a summary of each episode that we do 24 hours after it errors with a summary bullet points and one to four short video clips. We did it for you because you said, Hey, we can't listen to every episode you guys produce so much content. And we said, all right, we're going to do this clip notes. It's a way for you to see what's going on, stay current and decide if you want to watch the full show. You can subscribe to that. Just go to this week, health.com/subscribe, or just go to our homepage and hit the subscribe button. All right here is today's story. I'm going to read a bunch of excerpts from this article, and then I'm going to come back around to what I think is wrong here and what I think apple can do to correct course. All right here it is apple dreamed of making healthcare easy. Then it's silence. It's medical experts. Apple wants to make health its greatest contribution to mankind. It's struggling to pull it off. Is the caption under the image that they have there of Tim cook and the team. Let's see, here we go. The most valuable company known for its nearly ubiquitous phones, computers and watches has made health central to its strategy. CEO. Tim cook has even pointed to health. As the area where apple make its greatest contribution to mankind, several hundred engineers program managers, data scientists, designers, and physicians are devoted to fulfilling Cook's promise, exploring the best ways to put apples magic, touch on everything from medical research. To doctor visits, but early excitement and leased by the apple watches capabilities such as detecting abnormal heart rates. Has been marred by a string of high level departures and setbacks in the company's health group and August insider reported that apple. Was scrapping an internal project called the health habit. Which was designed to make apple devices, a vital link between patients and doctors. It's a symptom of what insiders say are deeper organizational problems that have left the health group without clear direction. And struggling to mesh Apple's hardware oriented culture with the practice of the medical business. And they go on to talk about how people at apple health saw their colleagues face retribution when they brought things up. It goes on Fred Sans, the senior director of corporate communication for apple said in a statement that the company was still in the early innings of our work in health technology. And that many of the assertions in this story are based on incomplete, outdated and inaccurate information, which would be par for the course for business insider. They essentially sit around. They solicit employees who aren't happy to come to them and essentially share emails, share conversations, and then they air that for all of us to read. And it's interesting. That's why I'm reading the article. But it's not the level of journalism that you would see, I guess in the wall street journal, it's more of a TMZ kind of approach. Anyway, and they go on to talk about how apple is the only company struggling. They talk about Google, the names on which is always the case in these articles. All right. The next excerpt is a fiery farewell email that went straight to the top. The email written by Dr. Will PO was a resignation letter. And multiple people who saw and heard about it said it was a bombshell that laid out in blistering terms. Why employees in apple health group were unable to do meaningful work. He said that there was a lack of energy in that health leadership, blacked efforts to provide direction. People with concerns are fired or dismissed. These said according to the people. The PO worked with the special clinics, apple set up in 2018 to provide apple employees. With premium healthcare, the idea was to explore a broader medical service based on data collected from apple watches and other devices, apple envisioned offering services to the public one day, but Poe believe that Williams. I was being misled about the challenges involved according to three former employees. One of his chief concerns was that members of the team in charge of the health centers were telling Williams that the patient care they provided was high quality. But at the time, apple wasn't measuring quality in the clinics with standardized metrics. Some of the people said it was rounding up results from patient satisfaction surveys in reviews. Post shared his concerns with colleagues and soon found himself uninvited to meetings and criticized by leaders at apple for his lack of trust. So you get this idea that culture doesn't take too well to being criticized. And they drive home this point even further, we all took risks with our careers and went to Jeff. We went to HR, a former employee said the company does not want help. It's completely happy with the current status quo. I want to come back to that quote. Because I think apple is happy with the status quo because I don't think the people who are being interviewed for this, understand what Apple's about. So I will come back to that later. Two, former employees said some people on the product side of health. Which has made tools to measure blood oxygen levels and detect irregular heart rhythms also felt pressured to misrepresent progress to Williams. All right. So you have a cultural issue. I'm not doubting that there are cultural issues at apple. There's a lack of vision. There's lack of cohesive strategy around it. There's a lot of smart people doing individual projects and going in a lot of different directions. Let me give you a little bit more of this article. Apple dreamed of making healthcare as breezy as an apple store. So that's the headline here goes. The group inside of apple envisioned a subscription-based health program that would incorporate data from Apple's watch into a physician's everyday practice. That's mistake. Number one. A year after decise signed on. Apple opened a couple of health clinics for company employees. The idea was to use the clinics as a sort of workshop for apple to explore. The ways is technology could be applied to healthcare. If it worked apple could not only improve its products to make them smarter, but also expand its business beyond digital devices and become a more significant player providing care. And other services in the $4 trillion us healthcare industry. I do not believe that apple ever had even a small desire to start delivering healthcare. Because I don't think they see themselves as a healthcare delivery company. They're barely a services company, the services they sell I'll get into this later, but they're barely a services company that is not what they do. They don't hire mass amounts of people that deliver services. They're not a services company. They're a product company. All right. So the next thing the watches new features have historically been introduced by engineers, not the clinical staff, three former employees said they're often designed for consumers rather than patients. Uh, Seeking medical care, which people said has discouraged Apple's medical experts with more specific ideas for studies, algorithms, and apps. The more recent efforts in the pipeline are more collaborative. While business is aspirations were once discussed for the clinics building primary care services. For example, apple began to think of them as mechanisms to drive, watch sales ding, ding, ding, being two people familiar with the matter said one perspective customer. Summer of interest was big health plans. They said, if doctors could use the gadgets to more effectively manage patients' conditions. That's an argument to buy watches for members ding. Again, the problem is that the watch isn't ready for prime time in healthcare yet the algorithms are usually designed to identify a health condition. Not measure it, Three years in apple is now questioning whether it should continue to run the AC wellness clinics and they should to people close to the company said, it's not clear internally that they've outperformed crossover health. And I doubt they are a startup that used to run. And original apple clinic. One person said. And they can be expensive to operate compared to normal clinics in part because the clinicians spend more time with patients. Another person said, I think they should go back to crossover and they should do a technology. Partnership with them of some kind to utilize their technology and get it more. Integrated. I just think it's a better model. I think you will have better outcomes for your employees and probably for the development of products. Just say. Employees say some colleagues face native treatment after raising concerns and they go on to talk about in some detail. They also say people feel pressured to share positive results and they give an example of a hypertension program. Stay Hsu, hypertension. 91% of patients saw progress. Do they. Use that as an example for inflating the results. And it has led to the demise of health habit. Which was once a very promising way. For apple to be the conduit between patients and providers. Here's my, so what. Let's start with this. Apple is a product company and product companies sell products. Yes, they have a booming service business, but again, it is based on their product ecosystem. They sell digital content and storage. That's it. If you're a physician that is looking to work for apple, your job is to make one of the devices more relevant to healthcare, so that more healthcare companies or better yet consumers purchase apple products. You can do that through things that look like healthcare, but at the end of the day, you're in the business Apple's business of selling products. For those who don't recognize that, or have a problem with that, you need to leave apple and stop complaining for those that see a bigger vision for what apple products can do, don't go to work for apple instead start something up that runs on the apple products. For apple, anyone who's listening to this from apple set, a strategy already, you are a consumer device company. No, who you are and be it. What can you do to make your consumer's lives better or at least better than those carrying Android devices. I said for some time that the best thing that apple could do right now is to address the intake process into epic Cerner and Meditech run clinics and hospitals. You have the connections, you have the security, you have a bunch of the data. Now develop my health wallet that keeps my critical information handy and gives me the ability to transfer that to any health system prior to my arrival. Or even upon my rival. An additional feature would be for the health systems to request additional information through some apple process and have that answered on the apple device, stored in the cloud, transfer to the health system and available for the next person in healthcare who asks for it. And they will ask for it again. We have the apple wallet for our digital lives. It can just as easily store critical health information and reduce the burden on the consumer and the health system. That's my first stab at this. Keep the main goal, the main goal to sell more products. Apple's products have to provide value that I don't receive unless I own them. Put this in place. And I think you will find that people will be impressed. Remember, you are not a healthcare company, you don't run hospitals, you don't run clinics, say it over and over. We are a product company. We are not a healthcare company. Our products can serve people in healthcare and consumers looking to live healthier lives, but that doesn't make apple a healthcare company. I guess my, so what on this is know who you are and be it. That's all for today. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week health. Dot com or wherever you listen to podcasts, apple, Google, overcast, Spotify, Stitcher. You get the picture. We are everywhere. We want to thank our channel sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. VM-ware Hill-Rom Starbridge advisors, McAfee and Aruba networks. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.