Ex-Apple CEO advises on mobile health

By Chris Gullo
Share

John SculleyIt should be clear to anyone who has followed the mobile health space these last few years, that Apple has created many of the go-to devices for health and medical applications. This week, news comes that ex-Apple CEO John Sculley seems to be paying even more attention to mobile health than his old colleagues in Cupertino.

"I've been in high-tech now almost 30 years and I watched the healthcare industry miss the personal computer revolution and miss the Internet revolution," Sculley told Fast Company at this year's Body Computing Conference held in Los Angeles last week. "It's quite clear that the government and special interests aren't going to solve our healthcare costs to the economy and that [the sector] is ripe for innovation and disruptive approaches to shift the accountability more towards the patient, and to shift over time from reimbursements to outcomes. It's not going to happen by any one company, but I think there's enough opportunity to change the world of healthcare that it's attracting a lot of talent."

Sculley is on the board of directors of Watermark Medical, developer of an in-home sleep apnea diagnostic device, and on the board of advisors at Audax Health Solutions, a consumer health startup which uses gamification and social networking for health management.

"It's all about magic, and the magic can be Facebook, Twitter, the ability to find anything anywhere on Google," Sculley said. "We're at an era where technology is an invisible enabler to magic. So the real quest is if we can take the challenge of getting healthy people to focus on lifestyles that will keep them healthy and make it feel like a magical experience, and that's why gamification is probably a piece of the solution."

Sculley said that doctors are "notorious" for being the last to adopt "any kind of technology," but he credits Apple with revolutionizing multiple industries with the iPad, healthcare among them, and that the platform eases "the intimidation of technology" that faced users.

Sculley also believes that entrepreneurs will drive the mHealth industry because large companies "as competent as they are... are not organized to have permission to fail... Apple does magical things, but it does magical things that are a combination of a product, a service, a system, and an experience with no compromised standards."

Should be interesting to see what effect Sculley has at Watermark and Audax.

Read the Fast Company article here.