Apple Inc. (AAPL): How This Tech Giant Accidentally Revolutionized Health Care

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) didn’t necessarily intend to revolutionize health care, but that’s exactly what happened. Health care has changed dramatically since Steve Jobs first stood in front of an audience to introduce first the iPhone then later the iPad. Much of that change can be directly attributed to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Source: 3D4Medical.

Apples and doctors
It used to be said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. That could still be applicable, but the opposite is true for doctors and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Physicians love their iPhones and iPads.

A study by Manhattan Research in 2011 found that 75% of physicians owned at least one Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) product. Vitera Healthcare’s 2012 survey of health-care professionals backed up this high number. The company’s study found that 60% of respondents used an iPhone and 45% owned an iPad.

The real revolution, though, has come from how physicians and other health-care professionals are using Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s devices. Mobile applications opened the door for clinicians to instantly access a world of medical information at the point of care.

For example, WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ:WBMD)‘s Medscape application allows physicians to check drug interactions, look up information about procedures, and see medical news updates on the fly. Medscape ranks first among the most frequently downloaded medical apps for iPhones and iPads.

Yale University’s School of Medicine even did away with paper materials for training upcoming physicians. The school provided iPads and wireless keyboards to all of its medical students. Other schools followed suit.

Health eVillages’ experience underscores the transformational impact of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s technology. The not-for-profit organization provides mobile health technology to medical professionals in areas such as Kenya and Haiti. Lives have been saved that otherwise would have been lost, thanks to doctors in remote areas who use an iPad to access needed information.

Use of Apple’s products goes beyond serving as a reference tool, though. An application that allows radiologists to view MRIs as well as CT, PET, and SPECT scans on iPhones and iPads received FDA approval in 2011. More recently, the FDA cleared the way for privately held Welch Allyn to connect its portable ophthalmoscope to an iPhone for doctors to view retinal images using the company’s app.

Apple perhaps unwittingly opened new horizons for patients also. By April 2012, the company’s App Store included more than 13,600 health-related applications.

A peek at some of the current top-selling apps shows how much Apple’s technology has empowered patients. One application allows individuals to monitor their sleep cycles. Another provides a detailed guide to help expectant mothers through their pregnancies.