Ex-Apple CEO advises on mobile health

By: Chris Gullo | Sep 26, 2011        

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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.

  • Cinqcepage

    The Watermark mgmt team’s goal is to spin up their pipeline as fast as possible and flip the company. What they have built is a business model, they licensed the technology. Scully et al had the chance to participate in mobile health a year ago when they picked up an alpha software platform capable of aggragating data from clinical and lifestyle devices as part of CA’s investment. They shut it down w/in months because, they said, the only sustainable product had to be built on an integrated platform inc a hub and medical devices. Sound like Homed? Or Health Buddy? Yes – but certainly not innovation… Actions speak louder than words.

  • Hugo

    I saw the CA product in Ireland. It looked to be just like all the other products with an awful UI and the usual cast of devices strun about. Never heard of WM. There is nothing on their site about the product mentioned. Hopefully it is better than the CA product that was being marketed. If it really exists at all!

  • John

    John Sculley will go down in history as the TOTAL A-Hole who betrayed Steve Jobs and firedhimfrom the company Jobs co-founded.  A complete loser corporate clown

  • Dpoli24

    Do you even know what you are talking about or know any of the facts about the subject you mntioned in your comments? Do you know john or steve?

  • Briggs

    John, you clearly don’t know what you are talking about. Woz made it clear on CNN last week Steve Jobs left because he did not get his way and lost control of the Macintosh product. We all know he was fired by the board because he hired 3 Apple employees after telling the board and Sculley he would not do anything like that. If you believe all of what you read then you are not a Savant but a real moron.
    If it wasn’t for Sculley Apple would not be around today. Sculley DNA is throughout that company. Apple had 2 billion in cash more than ever before and had grown from 300mm to 8 billion and positioned to become truly great under Sculley leadership. Remember Sculley had one success under his belt before Apple most people forget to mention. Pepsi won the cola war after being sold 9-1 when Sculley arrived at Pepsi Co and one reason Apple and Jobs fell in love with John.
    Sculley left Apple because he like Steve refused to license the Apple technology and wanted to take the company a direction the board did not agree so he got fired like Jobs did. 
    The two ceo’s post Sculley were the ones who put the company in the situation of Apple almost becoming a bankrupt company. It was the boards decision to license APPLE IP causing crap products to hit the market, diluting the focus and brand of Apple. John were you on the board now that i think about this?
    Jobs deserves most the credit and the insiders who know the real story, Woz and Sculley are the only people on the planet who knows how Jobs did it early on. User experience, simplicity and the vision. Every one on the planet in tech knows what Steve did including your dumb ass. Apple needed to sell its interest in Advanced RISC Machines later AMD and an investment from brother Bill to survive and again we all know the rest of the story.
    Mistry boy you should go back into your hole or under the rock you came from under and keep your thoughts to yourself because they are not accurate and you are the clown. You sound like wannabe  who got fired from Radio shack for producing a poor work product or shitty basic code or you could be one of the former board members that Steve fired when he returned home.  

  • Dpoli25

    Briggs who are you? You are right on in your telling of the vent

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