Apple is now selling smart blood pressure cuffs in-store and online
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Apple entered into a third-party exclusivity deal with France-based Withings - which specializes in the development of smart health devices - to offer the company's BPM Core blood pressure monitor in Apple's retail locations and online store, per Digital Trends.
BPM Core combines a blood pressure cuff with a digital stethoscope and an electrocardiogram (EKG) reader that can detect signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib); information gathered by the device can be synced with the Apple Health app and shared with medical professionals.
Here's what it means: Apple is accelerating its push into consumer healthcare by putting glucose monitors and blood pressure cuffs on the same shelves as laptops and iPhones.
Apple's exclusive deal with Withings comes hot on the heels of its landmark move to offer One Drop's digital glucose monitors at its physical retail locations.
We discussed how giving medical devices a larger in-store footprint was indicative of Apple's healthcare ambitions; analyst estimates peg Apple's healthcare revenue will hit anywhere from $15 billion to over $300 billion by 2027, though we think those numbers may be overblown. Nevertheless, bringing Withings' BPM Core to Apple stores shows the tech giant is doubling down and is willing to give up more in-store real estate to third-party medical devices.
The bigger picture: Bringing Withing's devices to its stores signals seniors are Apple's prime target for growth in consumer healthcare and wearables.
- Both Withings' BPM Core and One Drop's glucose monitor are intended for long-term patient health monitoring of diseases most prevalent among older populations. For example, individuals over the age of 65 are more than three times as likely to be diagnosed with a heart disease than younger demographics, according to the American Heart Association. Additionally, over 1 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each year, with the vast majority of newly diagnosed diabetics being over the age of 45, according to a 2017 CDC Report.
- And when Apple unveiled the latest iteration of its Apple Watchthis past year, it highlighted two new features aimed at senior health management: a built-in EKG and a fall detector. Most of the Watch's new features are targeted at seniors: For example, 9% of US seniors have AFib, which the EKG functionality aids in detecting, compared with just 2% of the remaining population, and fall-related injuries bring 3 million seniors into emergency departments for treatment annually, per the CDC. We've also covered how Apple is pursuing a Medicare Advantage deal with private insurance companies in hopes of subsidizing the Apple Watch for the over 65 crowd, further demonstrating its interest in the senior health market.
I (Zach) think Apple's in-store sale of the BPM Core and One Drop marks the beginning of a trend in which senior-centered health devices and software take on greater prominence in Apple's overall health and wearable strategy. Only 13% of US adults over the age of 50 own a wearable smart device, per a 2017 AARP report, making seniors a prime growth target for the Apple Watch 4 and other connected devices like the BPM Core and One Drop that sync up with it.
Notably, the EKG-less BPM Connect - launched alongside the BPM Core - is not part of the exclusivity deal with Apple, which may indicate that the company is filtering devices for in-store sale based on their potential to generate more senior customers - a trend I expect to continue.
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