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Why Organ Donors And The Pursuit Of Health On Mobile Matters To Apple

Photo of Karol Severin
by Karol Severin

A couple of months ago, I wrote about how the health sector will be very important for Apple to keep it’s users loyal and stand out from other handset manufacturers amidst the maturing smartphone market as well as the mobile ecosystem competitors like Facebook or Google.

In continuation of this, this week Apple announced the collaboration with Donate Life to bring organ donor education and registering abilities to iOS 10 which will be launched to the public in the coming days.

Mobile tech giants strive to build powerful mobile ecosystems that consumers never have to leave. Each company is approaching it from a different angle. Apple through the harmonious user experience between its hardware and software, Google through information and Facebook through connectivity and entertainment.

But much of the commercial boom of the app economy boom has been driven through entertainment. Be it games, social networking video or music services. However, as the space becomes saturated on this front, companies that wish for their mobile ecosystem to stand out need to continue adding value across all sectors that are important to consumers’ life and consolidate those into a single platform. As mobile technologies and experiences evolve, so do consumer needs and preferences.

With tech giants having accumulated critical masses, their real growth question is no longer ‘’how do we target consumers on mobile’’ but rather ‘’how do we improve the lives of mobile consumers’’ Apple is betting on health – the most fundamental of human necessities – to differentiate it’s ecosystem further. And it has a good chance of doing so. It has already build trust and relationships with the medical community via its ResearchKit and its collaboration with the medical world will now be extended further through the organ donor registration capability. Earning respectability in eyes of the medical community is crucial. When it comes to health, people tend to trust medical experts (doctors) most. If Apple can become a respected tech partner to doctors and medical researchers, they are likely to turn into indirect evangelists of its ecosystem as a result. If Apple’s Health becomes fully trusted over other mobile health trackers and tools, it could go as far health insurance companies offering discounts to Apple Health subscribers, due to accurate health predictability and earlier diagnosis capabilities.

Of course health is not the only non-entertainment sector to battle for. Mobile payments, education, tax collection, and legal advice are just a few of the plethora of fields that are being (or waiting to be) consolidated by the tech giant’s ecosystems. Companies that can establish a socially accepted superiority in solving these ‘life problems’ through mobile will end up with the competitive advantage. This will not be a winner takes all scenario however. Each giant has a chance of establishing a robust foothold in a variety of these fields. The winning combination will depend upon the importance consumers assign to each of these ‘problem sectors’ and to solving them through their mobile device.

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